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Ten Fun Shark Facts

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Photo credits: Nature on PBS


1.Some sharks glow in the dark

The entire underside cookie-cutter shark has photophores to allow it to light up. The six-foot-long kitefin sharkthe blackbelly lantern shark and the southern lantern shark are also found to emit light.

To survive the deep and frigid waters, they produce dangerous amounts of tri-methylamine oxide as a natural antifreeze. This and their high concentration of urea make them poisonous to eat. In Iceland, they must process the meat for months to make it safe for consumption. 

3. More people are killed by champagne corks, lightning strikes, or cows than by sharks

Roughly two dozen people are killed by champagne corks a year, with most cases being at weddings. On average 49 people die from lightning strikes alone in the US every year. Cows on average kill 20 people per year in the US. In comparison, only 6 people are killed by sharks per year worldwide.

4. You’re more likely to get bit by a person in New York than a shark in the US

In the 1980's, there were roughly 1500 human to human bite injuries recorded every year in New York City. During the same time period, there were only 12 bite injuries from sharks recorded every year in the US.  

5. Sharks mostly bite men

For every 100 shark attacks, a little over six will involve women. This is probably because women are less likely to partake in risky activities. 

6. Sharks have survived through all five mass extinction events

In the last 450 million years sharks have been around, they have survived 5 mass extinction events. Shark diversity could have played a role in their survival.

7. The Greenland shark reaches maturity at 150 years of age

The Greenland shark is the oldest vertebrates in the world. The sharks grow 1cm a year. Researches used radiocarbon dating to estimate one shark to be 400 years old.

8. The first written account of a shark attack was written in 493 B.C.

Greek philosopher Herodotus wrote an account of a shark attack on a Persian fleet in 493 BC.

9. There's a shark that can walk on land

The Epaulette shark is found in shallow coral reefs and coastal waters around Australia. Their fins are used as legs to crawl across exposed reef surfaces between rockpools that contain prey. This shark can also survive without oxygen 60 times longer than humans can.

10. The largest shark in the world is the whale shark, reaching 12 meters

The whale shark is the largest shark and fish in the world, reaching lengths of up to 12 meters long. That's roughly the equivalence of 40 Subway footlong sandwiches placed back to back. 

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Shark Facts

An overview and 10 fun facts about sharks




There are over 500 species of shark around the world's oceans. They all range in size, habitat, colour, and diet.

Largest shark: Whale Shark

Reaching lengths of up to 12 meters, the plankton eating whale shark is the biggest fish in the world.


Smallest Shark: Dwarf Lantern Shark

This shark can fit in a human hand. The maximum size these sharks reach are only 20cm long.


Oldest shark: Greenland Shark

These sharks may live for over 400 years, making them the oldest vertebrate in the world.


Fastest shark: Shortfin Mako

These sharks top speeds of 45 miles per hour (74 kilometers per hour). These sharks are also observed jumping incredible heights out of the water to hunt.


Slowest shark: Greenland Shark. Another record for the Greenland shark. These sharks top speeds of less than 1 mile per hour. 

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