Shark Beaches

I was surfing the net yesterday when I saw this article on North America’s shark beaches. I will be the first to say that sharks normally do not attack people. I was impressed by the article’s view on that, citing research and evidence. As you remember, I have written informative shark posts on my blog here and here. I still believe that we can learn from these animals.

Sadly, like the article says, human paranoia helps a lot in discrediting the shark. One story filled with terror, one high-budget Hollywood production is all it takes for people to shut their ears and scream. It is hard to be logical when you are afraid, but we can do it. Humans fear what is out of their reach.

This doesn’t mean that I approve of shark attacks. We simply have to accept that it is part of nature. Lightning is more likely to strike you than a shark biting you, but we don’t make a big fuss about it. Shark attacks make for more headlines.

What is the point of this? Just education and information. Knowledge is power, and the more we know the less we fear. Everyone should try and know as much as they can.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sharks

After digging out pictures on a sighting of a small, non-threatening shark (at least that’s what the locals say) on a trip to Hawaii quite a while ago, (I went here in case anyone was wondering) I got to thinking. Sharks are really fascinating creatures! They have captured the hearts of men all over. Feared for their apparent eating habits, only further fed by news reports and Hollywood movies, sharks are avoided and sometimes have been hunted and now not too many remain in the seas. However, many people have recognized the true majesty of the shark, thanks to science. In light of that, here are five things you probably didn’t know about sharks.

1. Only four types of sharks present a large threat to humans. There are more than 360 species of them, but only the great white, bull, tiger and the oceanic whitetip sharks are known for biting humans. These attacks are provoked more often than not, and sometimes even mistaken! There are a few more species which have attacked humans, but they rarely cause death.

2. Sharks only bite…sometimes! A shark cannot eat several times in a row like we can. Oftentimes a shark will bite something to check if it’s worth eating, much like people checking the back of the box for price and nutrition! If it senses that what it’s biting isn’t worth the digestive time, it releases the person, animal or object and goes off to find better food. Talk about discriminating!

3. Sharks may be afraid of dolphins! We’ve heard tales of dolphins protecting humans from sharks. An experiment was also done by Mythbusters where a mechanical dolphin was placed near a seal cutout and raw bait, while a great white shark was feeding. Instead of going for either target, the shark opted to stay away! He only went for it when the dolphin was removed. Scientists still can’t explain why, so don’t try to rent out a dolphin just yet.

4. Sometimes, sharks don’t need a mate to reproduce. There has been a documented case of a shark giving birth without male contact for three years. The newborn had no parental DNA, which makes it a close copy of its mother! This may be a last resort if there are no males around, but since they can’t evolve because of that, it may cause them to become extinct.

5. Sharks are worshipped as gods! Hawaii, that group of islands out in the Pacific Ocean, has more than its share of sharks. It’s not surprising that they model gods out of these creatures. These gods are said to be able to transform from human to shark at will! Many of them are said to be originally human. A common type of story about these gods goes like this: the shark in human form warns beach-goers about sharks in the water. They ignore him, and are later eaten by the human who warned them, who had turned into a shark. When someone warns you about sharks in the water, follow it!

We humans have not fully unraveled the true workings of the shark. Is it friend or foe? Hopefully these facts will make you appreciate sharks more. What other little tidbits do you know? Share them with us!

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Don’t Step Into The Water Without Reading This!

shark attack

One thing people always remember if they hear the word “shark” is that sharks are vicious man eaters, fearsome, have sharp teeth, and are killers. But what we don’t know about sharks is they don’t attack solely because of hunger. They can in fact live for many months without eating. Divers or surfboarders are primarily attacked because of their search for prey. A surfer in a surfboard seems like a sea lion or a seal to a shark, while divers in their black wet suits looks like just other prey to them.

Sharks attack humans when they are provoked or agitated. Also, sharks are attracted to bright colors, splashing waters, and vibrations. One of the most abundant places that contain sharks is the waters of Australia.

Australian waters are said to be populated with different species of sharks, such as the Grey Nurse Sharks and Speartooth Sharks which are both critically endangered species. There are also the Northern River Shark, Whale Shark, and Great White Shark. Shark attacks are actually insignificant compared to the total 120,000 deaths in Australia annually. It would only average to oneshark death per year.

Here are some tips to avoid a possible shark attack.

  • Avoid wearing bright clothes like yellow and orange. These colors will definitely attract sharks.
  • Please do not entice or tease sharks.
  • Sharks have a very good sense of smell, and are easily attracted to the smell of blood. So if you injure yourself, get out of the water immediately. And for women who happen to have their period, for your own sake stay out of the water.
  • Murky waters should be avoided.
  • Gut feeling is always the best preventive measure. If you feel something isn’t fine then try not to go in to the water. And if you feel something brush you, get out of the water and check it out. A lot of shark attacks lack the sensation of being bitten. Even scientists can’t explain why.
  • Be aware of the fishes and turtles around you. If they started to act erratic, then it’s likely there’s a shark in the area.

Now who wouldn’t want to see an actual Australian shark? I know I would, if I win this Australian Holiday. I stumbled upon this contest that gives away a free business class airfare to Australia together with a 7-night stay in a high-end hotel. But I don’t want to have this opportunity all to myself; I want all of us to have a chance to experience the thrill of winning this luxurious event by Qantas and Luxury Link. If you want to join the contest as well, you can click in this area. It’s worth a try.

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