Katarina Zarutski, 19, is a nursing student and Instagram model from Laguna Beach, California. Last month she was on holiday in the Bahamas and saw nurse sharks swimming in the water. This gave her the idea for the perfect Instagram image.

However, while floating on the clear, warm water, one of the sharks bit her arm, pulling her under the water. Now the Instagram model has scars to mark the experience. She told the BBC that she has been trolled over the incident online, but it turns out she now has many more followers on the social media platform.

Teenager poses with sharks in the Bahamas

Zarutski was on holiday with her boyfriend’s family in Staniel Cay in the Bahamas when it happened. While the family tried to discourage her, once Katarina spotted the nurse sharks in the water, she couldn’t resist the ultimate Instagram picture. She floated on her back in the clear water for the picture when she was suddenly attacked by one of the nurse sharks, which grabbed her by the arm, pulling her under the water.

The BBC notes that nurse sharks are normally a fairly harmless species.

However, should they feel threatened, they have been known to attack people. Katarina explained that she grew up in California and was always involved in water sports and knew this type of shark is normally safe. She went on to say she had seen many photos of people swimming with nurse sharks on Instagram.

However, after this particular nurse shark grabbed her and pulled her underwater, it was a short while before Katarina managed to break free.

One image taken of the incident shows her bloodied arm being held over her head in the water.

Speaking of the attack, Zarutski said that when it happened, her body had so much adrenaline flowing and she had to get out of the dangerous situation. However, she managed to stay very calm but was lucky to still have a hand. Katarina needed a few stitches and had to take antibiotics after the experience, but said she still has tiny fragments of the shark’s teeth in her arm.

Teenager trolled online but gains followers

Katarina told the BBC that she has been trolled quite a bit online since the incident and she had a number of horrid messages. However, she brushed it off, saying “It’s the Internet,” adding you have to take things like this with a “grain of salt.” However, maybe there were too many grains of salt, as her Instagram account is now set to private.

As reported by Paper, it wasn’t all bad, as images of the shark attack have apparently attracted an additional 10,000 followers to her Instagram account, so it really was worth it after all.

There are more images of Katarina's experience with the shark in the video below.