Bitten and Dragged by a Crocodile

Australian marine biologist Melissa Cristina Márquez was looking for a hammerhead shark south of Cuba while filming a documentary for Shark Week. Her mind was on sharks when she felt pressure on her leg. She thought it might be her flipper caught on something, but it was a crocodile... which began pulling her away by her leg! Luckily, while Márquez had never before encountered a crocodile up close, she knew something about alligators, and was calm enough to realize she must not move her leg even the slightest.      

I was in its mouth, which is highly receptive to texture, to taste. I hoped that it wasn’t not biting me too hard. It didn’t feel like it. I didn’t feel pain. I felt really, really hard pressure, but no actual pain. So I was hoping, “Alright, hopefully, because I have the scuba suit on, no blood is coming out, so it doesn’t taste that. It doesn’t feel the meat, essentially, of my leg. It just tastes the neoprene, and it’s gonna let me go.”

I was like, “Don’t struggle,” because two things can happen. Crocodiles will either bite down harder, and then I would start feeling pain, and then: There goes all my rational thinking, really. If it bit down harder, not only would it possibly be painful, but it also could have taken out a chunk of my leg. Or, the worst scenario is that it rolled. That’s how a lot of them incapacitate their prey.

Márquez suffered numerous bite marks, from which the biggest danger was infection, but is on the mend. Her new wetsuit, however, was completely destroyed. Márquez told the complete story of being dragged by a crocodile to Jezebel, with a unique science perspective, and it's a compelling story.  

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