Sharks have been swimming in the world’s oceans for over 400 million years - a long time before the dinosaurs and they have evolved to become incredible predators and sit proudly at the top of the food web. There are over 500 different species of shark, from the biggest fish in the ocean - the harmless whale shark, to the funny looking goblin shark which can be found in the deep sea. Most shark species have roughly the same shaped body, intricately designed to propel them through the water with ease.
You might not think it, but only a few sharks are potentially dangerous to humans. If we look at the facts, we are much more likely to lose our life by being struck by lightning, falling off a chair or whilst taking a selfie!
However, over many years the sensationalist media has portrayed sharks as mindless killing machines which should be feared. In reality sharks should be much more scared of humans. Over 100 million sharks are killed every year, the majority have their fins removed which are sent across Asia and made into shark fin soup.
Shark Fact vs Shark Fiction!
All sharks are out to get you - FALSE
Some species never get bigger than the length of your arm, some don’t even have true teeth. Only 11 species, out of more than 500, have been responsible for injuries to humans.
You’re more likely to be bitten by a shark than injured falling off a chair - FALSE
You are much more likely to be killed by a long list of household items… chairs and toasters cause 650 deaths a year!
Sharks have a 6th sense - TRUE
Sharks can detect electrical impulses in the water through tiny pits around their nose called “Ampullae of Lorenzini”. These jelly-filled holes have tiny nerve hairs within them which detect heartbeats and movement of the shark’s prey.