Does hitting a shark in the nose work?

While it would be stupid to think that you could go into the ocean just to see what it is like to fight with a shark, you probably cannot. However, some people suggest that if you find yourself in such a situation, hit the shark in the nose, and it will retreat. But before you do that, we suggest you find out does hitting a shark in the nose works in actuality or if it is just another myth.

Remember, if it doesn’t work out, you may get severely injured by a shark attack or may die at the moment. You can imagine how serious the repercussions can be. So, let’s educate yourself on whether you shall try hitting a shark in the nose or not.

Does punching a shark in the nose work?

You may not have seen a great white shark, but just imagine its gigantic head within arm’s reach and its powerful jaws closing in on you as you swim in the ocean; it can be frightening to imagine, let alone experience it in person.

Having said that, not going into the oceans is not an option, even though the fear of sharks is real. Sharks and surfers interact quite a bit, but there are few attacks, and fatalities are rare.

In the event that a shark attacks, you can protect yourself and try to deter it from pursuing you. Punching it in the nose is one of the popular recommended ways but does it really work? We would say, No!

If you are planning to get away from a shark attack while hitting on the nose, you’ll probably fail. It is said that the nose is a sensitive part, and punching on it will do the trick, but it’s the eyes and the gills that are really sensitive. The nose is generally not considered a weak spot, so aiming for it is surely a bad idea. A shark, even if it wasn’t about to attack, will do so if you punch it hard on the nose.

Why do people punch sharks in the nose?

We have just read that hitting a shark in the nose doesn’t work out, and you may not escape safely out of it, but why then is it the most common suggestion you hear from all?

There is a good reason this advice is so common since sharks have a highly evolved biology, designed to sense movement using specialized organs at the tips of their nose, and it is considered hitting it will deter the shark away. 

By hitting these receptors, known as Ampullae of Lorenzini, it is believed that it will overwhelm the shark’s senses and make them retreat or back off, likely averting a shark attack.

It will surely give you some time to plan your next step, but as discussed earlier, it might not work as you think it will. It is also uncertain whether or not you can hit the shark effectively because it depends on many factors such as visibility, shark type, and, most importantly, your own physical strength.

Therefore, punching a shark in the nose should be considered a very last resort and is not a surefire way to avoid getting hurt.

How to deal with a shark if it comes near to you?

Sharks are mysterious species and have diversified into over 500 species, and each one possesses different behaviors towards humans. However, even if the species of shark approaching or encircling you are not aggressive, fighting them should not be the option.

The 1st priority should be to get out of the water without inciting the shark in any way. As you see a shark approaching you, do not panic, instead, maintain eye contact and slowly get back to the shore.

If it doesn’t help and at last it comes to the attacking, the best point where you can hit a shark is their gills and the eyes because of their high sensitivity. If you are lucky, the shark may retreat, and you may get the chance to come out of the water.

In any case, it’s a good idea to learn how to recognize when a shark is in close proximity to you, as fighting is not a viable option at all and can even be fatal.


There is nothing more fascinating in the ocean than seeing a shark; however, the experience can be horrifying if it turns out to be an attack. To dodge, people suggest hitting a shark in the nose, but lucky you are; as you learned, it doesn’t work but can create more problems in terms of inciting a shark.

Sharks are incredible species, and they are the reasons we see healthy blue oceans running. So, do get to know them by getting close but never indulge in a fight. 

About the author

Ameer Hamza

Ameer Hamza is a well-versed content writer who has been a part of the writing industry for over 4 years and part of Talha Saif Enterprises as an Author for over a year. Through his love of writing, he has developed his own writing style. He enjoys writing articles and blog posts that provide readers with detailed and accurate information. The knowledge he gained from his education helped him tackle many different subjects without any problem. As an avid reader and technology geek, Ameer is always on the lookout for the latest innovations.