Whether you love the adrenaline pumping experience of diving with sharks or want to make a beeline to the surface whenever you see one slink by, one thing is for sure, sharks are weird and fascinating creatures!
Often misunderstood by divers, swimmers and even experts, there are some surprising facts that even the most experienced diver didn’t realize about these intimidating underwater companions.
So we’ve come up with our favorite seven facts about sharks that shed light on these creatures and will leave us wanting to learn more.
Sharks communicate with each other through body language.
Scuba divers can pick up on these cues to determine if a shark is feeling uncomfortable with their presence.
If a shark has a hunched back, sharp movements, like a zig zag or back-and-forth motion, or are diving down to touch the bottom, it’s a sign that they’re a little wary.
You may already know that whale sharks are the largest sharks in the water, but did you know some species are smaller than your fin, or even your mask?
The Pygmy Ribbontail Catshark, the Dwarf Lanternfish and the Spined Pygmy Shark all average about 6-7” long, making them the tiniest sharks in the ocean.
Sharks have every reason to be scared around humans. 201 sharks are currently on the “Red List” of endangered species.
Humans kill roughly 70-100 million sharks every year or about 25 million sharks killed for every one human killed by a shark.
You can spot sharks in all of the world’s seven oceans, but that’s not their only stomping grounds.
Some species can live in a mixed salt and freshwater environment, (like an estuary or watershed), while others can live completely in freshwater.
So-called modern sharks are 100 million years old. Some species serve as our closest links to what the ancient dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures looked like.
For example, the frilled shark, (one of the rarer sharks in existence), hasn’t changed much in 400 million years or so.
It’s considered one of the best examples of what these original sharks looked like.
Sharks could care less about the color of your wetsuit or dive equipment!
Researchers have debunked the old myth that sharks are attracted to the color yellow.
And as it turns out, sharks can hardly register colors at all. Instead, they are more attracted to the contrast of colors or shades that may be on your apparel.
Female sharks are tough cookies!
Not only is a female shark’s skin thicker than males, (as some males tend to bite when mating), but several species of females can breed without the help of any male sharks.
In 2001, a female hammerhead shark gave birth in a Nebraska zoo without ever mating with a male, surprising researchers.
Though it’s perfectly understandable that a shark encounter can rank high on a diver’s top fears list, the sheer number of fascinating facts associated with sharks make these ominous creatures worthy of respect.
These creatures continually inspire scientists, researchers, and even divers to find out more.
If you live in the Dallas area, swing by our shop in Carrollton. We’ll be happy to chat with you about scuba.