The shores of North Carolina are tinged red this vacation season after a string of at least seven shark attacks since the start of June.
But which sharks might be responsible?
Dr. Louis Daniel, director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, says sharks who attack and then swim off can be difficult to identify due to discreet characterizing features. He gave NBC News a closer look at what types of sharks could be terrorizing the Tar Heel state during this unusual summer spike.
Length: 5-6 feet
Weight: 40-60 pound
Tendencies: Small coastal shark commonly found in inlets and channels; bite radius: 7-8 inches; black smudge on their nose (becomes more faint as they grow larger and more difficult to distinguish.)
Length: 4 feet
Weight: 8-10 pounds
Tendencies: Small coastal shark often found close to the surf zone; not strong; could fit a baseball or softball in their mouth; lots of white spots.
Length: Up to 12 feet
Weight: 800-900 pounds
Tendencies: Large coastal shark found primarily in shallow lagoons, bays and river mouths; are most efficient with the ability to osmoregulate (keep internal fluids from becoming too diluted or too concentrated) allowing them to be found in freshwater; very thick and commonly more aggressive; solitary; known to have interactions with people.
Length: 9-12 feet, up to 18 feet
Weight: 400-600 pounds, can grow up to 1,500 pounds
Tendencies: Large coastal shark; more aggressive; solitary; prominent tiger pattern.
Length: 6-7 feet
Weight: 150 pounds
Tendencies: Large coastal shark commonly found in shallow waters near river mouths, bays and estuaries; one of the most abundant large coastal sharks in N.C.; very thick in size; very prominent dark, black tips on all their fins making them easy to identify; often swim in groups.
Length: 9 feet
Weight: 200-300 pounds
Tendencies: Large coastal shark commonly found in shallow waters; jump out of the water, spin around and crash back into the water; one of the most abundant large coastal sharks in N.C.; similar to Blacktip shark with very prominent dark, black tips on all their fins making them easy to identify; often swim in groups.