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Transporting Nibbles to a new home.
Transporting Nibbles to a new home.

Nibbles: Hungry Shark

Field review by the editors.

Marathon, Florida

For years Lori and Barry Gaukel had admired a shark photo-op parked outside a boat trailer business on Big Coppitt Key. The shark, bursting through the face of a wave, had stairs in its head so that tourists could pose for snapshots inside its toothy mouth.

Nibbles the Shark.
Nibbles the Shark.

"He'd been there 18 years," Lori told us. "Someone had dropped him off for a trailer repair and never picked him up." (Note: Harvey the Giant Rabbit in Oregon is another attraction with unusual orphan origins.)

"He was abandoned," said Lori with the tone of a distraught mom. "People were tossing trash into his mouth!"

But the owner wouldn't sell him.

Lori and Barry opened an art gallery on Marathon Key in 2017. Then Lori received a surprise phone call: the trailer business was closing, the shark was for sale. She and Barry drove 50 miles each way to pick up the shark and bring him, still on his trailer, to his new home, where he arrived on July 12.

Lori and Barry named the shark "Nibbles," and set him up outside their gallery, next to US Highway 1. "The tourists are already loving him," Lori told us at the time, obviously delighted. "He's gonna be so cool!"

Since then Nibbles has been patched up and given a fresh coat of paint, and Lori and Barry have added a second toothy shark and two manatee statues, one dressed as Marilyn Monroe in her famous "Seven Year Itch" white dress.

Nibbles: Hungry Shark

Shady Palm Gallery

2888 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL
Shady Palm Gallery. On the southbound side of US Hwy 1 at milepost 48.5, at the intersection of 29th St. It's just north of the Marathon Government Center, and about a quarter-mile south of the stoplight intersection at 33rd St.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

The Turtle HospitalThe Turtle Hospital, Marathon, FL - < 1 mi.
Large ShrimpLarge Shrimp, Marathon, FL - < 1 mi.
World's Largest Queen Angel FishWorld's Largest Queen Angel Fish, Marathon, FL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Shark in Scuba Gear, Islamorada, FL - 34 mi.

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