I love Shark Week. Discovery Channel will play hours upon hours of shark footage, showing off these amazing creatures. Watching Shark Week has made me a little less afraid of sharks, and a lot more interested. Even when we are out-of-town during Shark Week, we set the DVR to make sure we don’t miss out on any awesome shows. Shark Week is every July, and just to get you 100% ready, here are 30 facts about sharks that you may not have known already.
1. Since sharks don’t have hands, they tend to explore different things with their mouths.
2. Sharks have been around for almost 400 million years and remain mostly unchanged. They were actually around BEFORE dinosaurs.
3. Don’t try to sneak up on a shark because it’s almost impossible. With their eyes located on the side of their head, it makes it very easy for them to see everything that is going on behind them, just as they can see almost everything in front of them. They do have two blind spots though: one is in front of their snout and the other is directly behind their head.
4. Did you know that you can tell how old a shark is by the amount of rings on their vertebrate, similar to a tree?
5. Sharks have amazing senses. A shark can detect the electrical impulse of a standard AA battery from one mile away.
6. A lemon shark can smell a single drop of blood in an Olympic size swimming pool. They can catch the scent of blood from about 1,500 feet away.
7. Don’t be too afraid of sharks. You’re more likely to die from a falling coconut than a shark attack.
8. The teeth of a tiger shark are so sharp that they can tear through the shell of a sea turtle.
9. The Shortfin Mako Shark has the ability to accelerate faster than a Porsche.
10. A shark will sink if it stops swimming.
11. The world’s smallest shark is the Pygmy shark. When fully grown, it’ll only be six inches long.
12. When it comes to tiger sharks, it is definitely survival of the fittest. When they are still in the womb, the first shark born will actually eat the unborn sharks until only two remain. There will be a total of two sharks, one on each side of the womb.
13. A Salmon Shark can swim up to 55 miles per hour. Compare that to Olympian Michael Phelps, he can only swim 5 miles per hour.
14. There is not a single species of shark that is a vegetarian.
15. Sharks that live in aquariums tend to bond with the staff that cares for them. If a stranger were to try to interact with them the same way, the shark would act differently towards them.
16. Sharks typically hunt solo. The only exception is the Scalloped Hammerhead. They tend to swim with schools of sharks while they are migrating in the summer.
17. Cookiecutter Sharks leave cookie shaped holes in their victims. These sharks are small but they aren’t scared of much. They like to eat whale blubber from whales that are still alive.
18. Think you’re safe as long as you stay in shallow water? Think again! Almost two-thirds of shark attacks happen in under six feet of water.
19. Blue Sharks love to travel. They are often found making the trip from New York to Brazil to move into cooler waters. That’s a trip totaling 3,740 miles.
20. While it may seem like there are a lot of shark attacks, for every human that is killed by a shark, there are two million sharks killed by humans.
21. While Great White Sharks are known for being predators, they are also scavengers. People have caught up to 40 Great White Sharks devouring a whale carcass at one time.
22. The largest fish ever caught with a rod and reel was a Great White Shark. It came in weighing 2,664 pounds and was 17 feet long!
23. The Velvet Belly Lantern Shark has a glowing spine. This helps scare off predators while they hunt at night.
24. Bull sharks can regulate substances in their blood allowing them to survive in both salt water and fresh water.
25. When a Great White Shark bites down, there is 1.8 tons of force behind the bite. This may seem like a lot when the Megalodon, which is a prehistoric relative, bit down there was 18.2 tons of force.
26. When researchers have looked inside the stomach of a shark, they often find unusual items like tires, gasoline tanks, and more.
27. As recent as the 19th century, some South Pacific islanders considered sharks to be gods. Because of this they would offer them human sacrifices.
28. Orcas and Great White Sharks are constantly battling for the top of the food chain spot. The Great White Shark occasionally wins, but so the Orcas.
29. If you find yourself ever being attacked by a shark, try punching it in the nose or poking its eyes. Sharks don’t want to work that hard for their food.
30. Off the coast of Costa Rica, you’ll find the Cocos Island. The Cocos Island is home to over 40 different species of sharks, but the one you’ll see most often are Hammerheads.
I don’t know if these shark facts made me more scared of sharks or if it intrigued me even more. Hammerheads are probably my favorite species of shark, and the fact that there is a place where they flourish, I kind of want to plan a vacation there. Although, I don’t think I’ll be going in the water, especially if I have any type of fresh wound that might be bleeding.