Interesting Shark Facts

15 Interesting Facts About Sharks That May Surprise You

Don’t let jaws devast your insight about sharks! To many people, the word “shark” creates an image of a giant, sharp toothed monster which is capable of bringing your planned beach holiday to a sudden end within a few seconds! Don’t get upset! It’s not true, sharks rarely attack humans, only when they are provoked. It’s all up to you whether you love sharks or not, they are the king of the ocean and seas and there is no antithetical fact that these sea creatures are just awesome. Let’s sink our teeth into 15 exciting facts, read them to find out more about sharks. We hope that these facts will help to change your opinion for the better.

Enlisted 15 interesting facts about sharks

As sharks are one of the most important and fascinating creatures of the oceans, Here is the list of 15 most interesting facts about sharks which will definitely surprise you.

1: Sharks are older than trees

It has been documented that sharks have been evolving for more than 450 million years, whereas it has also been reported that the earliest trees existed around 350 million years ago. No doubt sharks are older than trees but they are the only creatures on the Earth which has survived for 4 out of 5 massive extinctions.

2:  Sharks are without bones

Sharks are the special type of fish that only have a skeleton made up of cartilage, and are much lighter than the true bone. The cartilaginous skeleton and the oil filled large liver, both provide them buoyancy and prevent them from sinking down into the ocean while swimming. Although sharks do not have bones, they can also be fossilized. Long ago, most of the shark deposits calcium salts to strengthen their cartilage skeleton and to fossilize quickly and for a long period.

3: Sharks have good vision

No doubt sharks have been blessed with unique features, many sharks have the ability to have a clear vision in a dim light, and even they can see well in dark or have extraordinary night vision, and they were also capable  of distinguishing between various colors. Sharks possess a layer of tissues which is located at the back of their eyeball called Tapetum that reflects the light and helps the sharks to see clearly in dark or dim light.

4: Sharks have glowing skin

It was discovered in 2014 that some shark’s species communicate with each other by producing green color light with a unique pattern from their skin, light that is not visible with naked eye but visible only in a blue filter light. Now you were definitely curious to know how this mechanism works. Ok! Let me tell you, a team of researchers in 2019 revealed that the molecules inside their scales interact with the light and allow only blue photons to pass in and emit the green light out. Impressive!

5: Sharks have the exceptional sense of electroreception

Almost all the sharks have the sense of electroreception; sharks have small blackish spots near the mouth, nose and eyes. This spot is called “Ampullae of Lorenzini“- it is a special type of electro-receptive organ which helps the sharks to detect electromagnetic fields produced by other animals that are quite far away from them.

6: Sharks are victim to the full moon 

It has been documented that the diving behavior of some sharks is affected by the moon, tides affect their eating habits and swimming to great extent, that’s why on the day of full moon, sharks descend to a wide range of depth in the ocean.

7: Sharks are capable of shedding and replacing their teeth

It’s a good thing the tooth fairy doesn’t have to dive deep in the water for sharks, as sharks lose 30,000 to 35,000 teeth in 5 rows with various shapes. Finding that tooth in the ocean sand might be difficult but it is guaranteed that you will definitely find them.

8: Sharks are vital for healthy aquatic ecosystem

Sharks play a key role in maintaining the healthy oceanic ecosystem; they eat sick and weak water species to improve their gene pool and prevent the risk of spreading diseases.  They also make oceans more robust to climatic changes and provide nutrients which helps phytoplankton (marine algae) to grow because it produces oxygen that we breathe!

9: Sharks are imperative for coral reef conservation

According to the research in 2017, it has been documented that sharks are vital for maintaining and regulating the healthy coral reef. It was reported that there are a number of sharks present in the area wherever there is a healthier coral reef. Sharks do so by controlling the mid-sized predators, allowing the small reef fishes to grow well there and take good care of corals.

10: Humans are the sharks deadliest killer

Almost all people have an irrational fear of sharks but in reality sharks do fear humans because they are the cause of death of many sharks. Humans have killed nearly 100 million sharks either purposely or accidentally, but in comparison, only one case of shark attack has been reported in every two years.

11: Sharks do not feed on humans

Surprised! Yes, the diet of sharks does not contain human flesh. As sharks are the curious and intelligent sea creatures which only bite humans out of curiosity and swim away without any interest. I think sharks would love to feed on juicy seal meat rather than human drumsticks!

12: Sharks uses various body language for communication

Sharks communicate with each other via different body languages rather than sound. The indicators like lowering pectoral fins, zig zag movement, curved back and diving down to the floor of the ocean depicted that sharks are feeling uncomfortable so remember that whenever you do swimming in the ocean you are swimming in their home, so be aware of their body language which makes them uneasy.

13: Sharks develop cancer

It is always a myth that sharks can’t develop cancer but according to the reports presented by Australian researchers in 2013 it is a tumor bulging out from the mouth of a great white shark. Thus a myth about sharks to develop cancer has been cleared.

14 :Sharks are capable to travel thousands of miles

It has been seen that sharks always remain in motion; some species of sharks are extremely migratory and travel long distances every year from one feeding locality to the other.  It has been reported that the lengthiest distance they had traveled till date through the Pacific Ocean, is about 12,000 miles from Panama to the Philippines.

15 : Sharks have different modes of reproduction

Not all the sharks reproduce by same method, sharks exhibit diversity in their modes of reproduction. Some sharks are oviparous means they reproduce by laying eggs, some are viviparous which reproduce by giving birth to young pups, some are ovoviviparous which reproduce by either laying eggs or giving birth to their offspring and development proceeds within the mother body. 

Final Thoughts

Sharks are the mesmerizing creatures of the ocean that have exceptional and interesting features which makes them quite different from the other water species. Sharks have shaped the ocean in a rich and healthy habitat and helps to maintain the ecosystem by preserving the small species in the food chain. So, gather your family, have some fun to ease your mind and impress your friends with newfound information about sharks.

About the author

Ameer Hamza