It’s the sea creature that many of us fear, but there is obviously a love for them in the world because the Discovery Channel features them for a whole week on an annual basis. I’m talking about sharks, the kings of the sea.
These animals are powerful predators, and we were ravenous to do our own hunting to learn more of what could be one of the oldest animals on earth. Here are some interesting facts we found!
- Sharks actually have no bones.
When looking at the skeleton of a shark, it’s actually not made out of hard bone the way a human skeleton is—it’s made from cartilage and connective tissue, which is a lot less dense than bones are. This development probably happened as a result of sharks needing to be fast and flexible with more energy.
- The vision of a shark is almost 360 degrees.
The eyes of a shark are very powerful, allowing them to see their prey within a 70 feet radius (depending on the species). There is also a part of their eye called tapetum lucidum that allows them to see in murky or dark waters. Due to the placement of their eyes being on the sides of the head, sharks have a nearly 360-degree view of their surroundings. The two blind spots of a shark are right behind its head and in front of its snout. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere within the view of a shark.
- When looking at the different species, 20–30% of sharks are near extinction.
Global warming and pollution are only two of many activities that have negative effects on the ocean’s ecosystem, but there are other reasons why certain species of sharks are fighting extinction. Obviously, there are fishermen who hunt them for a thrill; but there are also places that hunt sharks, cut their fins off and then throw them back into the water in order to make shark fin soup. While these sharks fight to survive without their fins, people are profiting from selling a bowl of what they believe to be a delicacy.
- There are 40,000 pounds per square inch of pressure in a shark bite.
Now, I thought women were impressive because when giving birth, our uterus pushing with a contraction is 397 pounds of pressure per square foot on average. However, when you compare that to the fact that a shark bite is over one hundred times more than that, I will probably never challenge a shark to a fight. Add in the fact that it takes about 80 pounds of pressure to crush the average car, and the human skull can be fractured by as little as six pounds of pressure. I’m not quite sure how people feel safe when swimming in shark cages.
- New Smyrna Beach, Florida is the shark bite capital of the world.
About an hour east of Orlando is the city of New Smyrna Beach, a small beach town that has been named the shark bite capital of the world due to its geography. Being close to Ponce Inlet means that the waters here are murky, which surfers tend to love for the waves. Sharks also love these waters because it means easy prey that won’t see them coming. Despite being given an accolade like being a capital, shark bites aren’t happening as frequently as one would expect. In 2017, the city counted nine shark bites total.
Hopefully, this article gave you a sample of a few of the things we could learn about sharks. If you want to learn more, you can check out the Discovery Channel every night this week, or you can visit a local aquarium near you.