Hawaii Woman Felt a Shark Bite, but Experts Have 'No Idea' What Caused Mysterious Injuries

Officials in Hawaii say they have "no idea" what caused the injuries sustained by a woman off the coast of Maui after ruling out a shark attack.

The 61-year-old had been swimming off a beach on the island of Maui on Monday when she felt a "bite," according to the Hawaii Department of Land and Resources Division of Aquatic Resources.

The woman, who made it back to shore without help, said she did not see any shark but told officials from the Maui Fire Department, who responded to the incident, that she believed this is what had caused her injury.

Following the incident, the woman was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center where medical staff treated her for non-life-threatening injuries, which included multiple puncture wounds and lacerations to her shoulder, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Shark warning signs were posted in the area urging people to stay out of the water until officials could give the all-clear.

Shark attacks on humans in Hawaii are extremely rare—and fatal incidents are even rarer. So far this year, there have been two incidents, both of which involved people suffering non-life threatening lacerations. Over 2019, 14 human-shark incidents were recorded in the state, one of which was fatal.

While the woman was being treated at the medical center, experts from the Division of Aquatic Resources evaluated her injuries, finding they were "most likely not caused by a shark." They said the cause of her injuries remain unknown.

A spokesman for the Hawaii Department of Land and Resources, Dan Dennison, told the Star-Advertiser that it was not clear whether another sea creature was responsible for the injuries. He said barracudas have also been known to bite humans in the area.

Dennison said experts had "no idea" what had caused the wounds, describing the injuries as "non-specific."

Shark warning signs that they had previously placed in the area were taken down following the Division of Aquatic Resources findings.

Maui, Hawaii
Stock image: Beach and palms trees in the morning at Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. iStock