It's long been rumored that sharks exist in the Great Lakes. While it seems improbable, because sharks mostly live in salt water oceans, it's not IMPOSSIBLE that a shark could live in fresh bodies of water.

But do they live in Lake Michigan? Well, ask the victim of the infamous Lake Michigan Shark Attack of 1955.

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The Chicago Tribune seems to be one of the only news outlets to write about the incident, as it occurred just off the coast of the Midwest city.

The child who was allegedly attacked, George Lawson, was swimming not too far from a boat off shore when he was abruptly pulled underwater. Upon resurfacing, his screams for help brought John Adler to the rescue.

"'I just couldn't believe it, but I had to believe what I saw happening right before my eyes!'
"When doctors found the dreadful injuries on Lawson, they had no hesitation in proclaiming that it was indeed a shark bite."

Indeed, the boy's right leg had been completely severed, and passengers on the rescue boat all reportedly saw the same thing - the "tell-tale dorsal fin" that headed back out to deep water after the attack.

Freshwater sharks exist?

But wait, sharks can't live in Lake Michigan, right? It's too cold, and it's fresh water. Sharks live in bodies of saltwater.

Actually, there are several species of shark that CAN live in freshwater. Most of them are native to tropical areas, and rivers that feed directly into the ocean. However, the only one that could possibly make it to Lake Michigan would be the Bull Shark. And it HAS happened before... kinda.


How Far North Have They Been Seen?

Scientists observe bull sharks swimming the Mississippi River on a regular basis. Some can regularly be seen as far north as St. Louis. But researchers in Illinois have found them in the Illinois River as well.

The furthest north truly confirmed sighting was in Alton, Illinois in 1937, just north of St. Louis, and just south of where the Illinois River spills into the Mississippi.

So, it is conceivable, if a shark could make it THAT far north, then it could theoretically continue up the river and into Lake Michigan. But it would also have to swim unnoticed through two major cities - Peoria, and Chicago.

But there's no denying that John Adler, and everyone on his boat certainly saw something that made them believe George Lawson's attack had to be the real deal.

"I just couldn't believe it, but I had to believe what I saw happening right before my eyes."

Sunken WWII Plane in Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Mothman Sightings 2020 to June 2021

The legendary Mothman is most famously known for his romp around Point Pleasant, West Virginia has also been reportedly spotted in the Great Lakes region as well. These photos are not from actual sightings and are mere illustrations to help you get the idea!

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