Sorry, no results were found for

100 Shark Facts To Get You Through Discovery Channel's Shark Week!

Fact #84: Curious sharks like colors that contrast. So, an uneven tan line can attract a shark. (Wait, what?)
by John Paulo Aguilera | Jul 16, 2015
Most Popular

After our shark-rrific chat—we've really ran out of shark-related adjectives—with Shark Week maven Jeff Kurr, FHM this time takes it up a notch and jumps into a shark-infested pool...of knowledge, that is.

Before carrying on with that Shark Week marathon this week, Discovery Channel gives us first dibs on essential shark info because, who knows, one day you might find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea—which is more likely to happen in a Bruno Mars song verse.

Kidding aside, below are exactly 100 facts about these magnificent sea monsters! Dundun-dundun-dundun...

Still from the "Bride of Jaws" episode

Continue reading below ↓

1) From 1580 to 2007, there were 64 reported fatal great white shark attacks. Sharks don't fare as well; millions of them are killed every year.

2) As sensational as shark attack newspaper headlines are, the reality is that you are more likely to be bitten by another person than a shark.

3) Sharks whip their prey around in order to break off chunks of meat so, if bitten, latch on to the shark if you want to save a limb.

4) You may think of sharks as ravenous, man-eating sea terrorists, but only 20 of the 350+ shark species are known to attack humans.

5) Grey nurse sharks are called the “labradors of the sea” because of their calm nature.

6) How do sharks date? Male sharks find mates by biting female sharks. Ouch. Cats and turtles also bite potential partners.

7) SPOT (Smart Position-Only Tag) records sharks' activities and transmits data to a satellite. Pop-Up Archival Tags (PAT) record details of the sharks' environments.

Continue reading below ↓

8) Thresher shark tails can grow to half of their body length and make up a third of their weight.

9) There are two species of frilled sharks and four species of cow sharks. Moooo...

10) Between 30- and 80-percent of a shark's flesh is made up of water. A protein network gives the flesh its structure.

Still from the "Island of the Mega Sharks" episode

Continue reading below ↓

11) There were a confirmed 2,463 unprovoked shark bites around the world between 1588 and 2011. Of these only 471 were fatal.

12) In certain parts of the sharks, such as the jaws and fins, calcification makes the cartilage stronger.

13) Oceanic whitetips are considered critically endangered in the Atlantic by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

14) Basking sharks often travel in pairs and sometimes in schools of up to 100 sharks.

15) In aquariums, sharks bond with the staff. Sharks behave differently with humans they know well than they do with strangers.

16) Sharks are susceptible to the moon's control of ocean tides. Moon phases affect sharks' eating habits and draw them closer to the shore.

17) Made famous by the movie Jaws, the U.S.S. Indianapolis shipwreck during World War II left over 800 people in shark-infested waters.

18) Some sharks walk instead of swim, using their fins like legs to stroll across the ocean floor.

19) You'd need much more than a "bigger boat" to track down the shark responsible for an attack. Sharks can travel hundreds of miles in a day.

Continue reading below ↓

20) While more likely to die from drowning, surfers can succumb to shark attacks because of their boards, which to great whites resemble seals.

Still from the "Sharks of the Shadowland" episode

21) Sharks move slowly in the deep ocean, sometimes swimming in aimless circles.

22) Sharks can use heartbeats to track their prey. They have electricity-sensing nodules on their noses called ampullae of Lorenzini.

Continue reading below ↓

23) Can you train a shark? In a Chicago aquarium, some sharks have been trained to recognize sounds and respond to human touch.

24) Volusia County, FL has had more shark attacks than any other place in the world (210 attacks since 1882).

25) Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island were inspirations for the fictional town of Amity Island in Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller Jaws.

26) Velvet belly lanternsharks have glowing spines.

27) Tiger, great white, and bull sharks are behind most shark attacks on humans. They hunt human-sized prey and are capable of inflicting fatal bites.

28) When tiger shark embryos develop teeth, they eat their unborn siblings until one shark remains. This is known as intrauterine cannibalism.

29) Since sharks don’t have marrow, in order to produce red blood cells, their red blood cells are made by the spleen or thymus gland.

30) Shark body design stabilized 140 million years ago—about 300 million years after they first evolved—and remains the same today.

Continue reading below ↓

Still from the "Return of the Great White Serial Killer" episode

31) In 2003, an orca attacked a great white shark by ramming into it, leaving it stunned and vulnerable before eating it.

32) Shy sharks are not aggressive and spend a lot of time resting in protected places.

33) Unlike most shark meat, Greenland shark flesh is poisonous. Eating it causes an extreme drunken-like state.

Continue reading below ↓

34) Parasites grab onto the eyes of Greenland sharks. But the pests glow in the dark, attracting shark prey, so both animals benefit.

35) Although lemon sharks are large and considered to be aggressive, they appear to thrive in aquarium conditions.

36) Sharks' livers contain lots of oil. This makes the liver a relatively buoyant organ, which helps sharks keep their balance in the water.

37) Hammerhead sharks are nomadic, travelling from Florida coasts to the polar regions, and adapt to different temperatures through aquatic globetrotting.

38) Male lago houndsharks are about half the size of the females.

39) Denticles feel smooth when stroked from front to back and rough the other way.

40) There are over one hundred different species of catsharks.

Still from the "Ninja Sharks" episode

Continue reading below ↓

41) Sharks that eat their siblings' eggs in the womb are not vicious. They are just seeking nutrients for sustaining their own growth.

42) No one knows how many goblin sharks are in the deep ocean. An earthquake in China caused 100 goblin sharks to wash up on the shore.

43) Pygmy sharks are among the tiniest in the world. They measure an average of eight inches (20 centimeters) in length and can make their own light.

44) A common shark myth is that they don't attack in the middle of the day, coincidentally when most beach-goers leave the water to eat lunch.

45) Video research in 2014 shows that sharks can swim in schools made up of multiple shark species.

46) An angel shark can ambush its prey in one-tenth of a second, popping up from its well-concealed hiding spot.

47) Shark teeth don’t get cavities. This makes them strong and great for tearing prey.

48) Sharks are literally silent killers. They don’t make vocal sounds because they don’t have vocal cords.

Continue reading below ↓

49) Unlike other sharks, the wobbegong latches on to prey and doesn’t let go. That means deep bite wounds for unlucky swimmers.

50) Angel sharks are able to hold water in their cheeks and pump them over their gills. This is called buccal (cheek) breathing.

Still from the "Return of the Great White Serial Killer" episode

Continue reading below ↓

51) A great white swam across the Atlantic Ocean, from one side to the other. Tracked and tagged by researchers, the shark is named Lydia.

52) One way to humanely catch a shark? Coax it into a see-through “shark sock,” a large plastic tube that won’t scare the shark.

53) The whale shark has up to 300 teeth, and the megamouth has more than 90.

54) Feeding frenzy! Hundreds of sharks fight over flesh to eat. Some even bite one another in the chaos.

55) Sharks have some of the largest brains among fish and have shown multifaceted social behavior.

56) Sharks can see in murky water because of a membrane called the tapetum lucidum that makes their eyes more sensitive to light.

57) In many species of sharks, the females are larger than the males, but male snaggletooth sharks are twice the size of the females.

58) Great white sharks are picky eaters, and can determine after one bite whether or not the meal will satisfy its nutritional needs.

Continue reading below ↓

59) Barnacles and bacteria do not usually grow on sharks. Scientists want to use shark skin to treat bacterial infections in people.

60) A recent scientific study found that a single litter of sharks can have more than one father—in fact, in some cases, up to five.

Still from the "Bride of Jaws" episode

Continue reading below ↓

61) Most shark attacks on humans occur within a few hundred yards offshore, because that is where people are most likely to be.

62) Although heavily fictionalized, Jaws was based on a real attack in 1916, when four people were killed by a shark off the New Jersey coastline.

63) Spiny dogfish have spines on the base of their dorsal fins.

64) Human teeth are as hard as shark teeth, though they are made of different minerals.

65) Sharks have a nictitating membrane that protects their eyes when they feed. Some sharks even roll their eyes back for extra protection.

66) Parasitic organisms live inside a great white shark’s mouth. No one knew about this until Shark Week bite cams revealed footage of it.

67) Some sharks start working before they're even born, chewing their way out of their egg to enter the open ocean.

68) Exactly how a shark comes into the world depends on its species. Horn sharks, for example, hatch from egg cases called "mermaid's purses."

Continue reading below ↓

69) Slap of death? Thresher sharks can hit their prey with their long tails, slapping it to death.

70) Whale sharks have mouths that can get up to 15 feet wide.

Still from the "Ninja Sharks" episode

71) There are 35 families of sharks altogether.

72) Research has shown that sharks are not lazy swimmers, as previously thought, but power themselves through the ocean with their tails.

Continue reading below ↓

73) While many of us have learned to fear sharks, they are the ones who should fear us. Humans kill 73 million sharks annually.

74) Denticles face away from the direction in which the shark swims in order to reduce drag and friction in the water and increase speed.

75) The vegetarian sharks in the movie Finding Nemo are a great white, a hammerhead, and a mako shark.

76) The goblin shark lives along outer continental shelves and underwater mountain ranges. Their dwellings are too deep for human exploration.

77) A mako shark's teeth are arranged in a way that makes them visible even when its jaws are closed.

78) The Greenland shark is a mysterious giant. No one had photographed the fish in its natural environment until 1995.

79) Sharks have an astounding sense of smell, so powerful that they can detect a single drop of blood in an Olympic-size pool.

80) One way to study sharks in the wild is through tracking devices that send updates to researchers, such as the SPOT.

Continue reading below ↓

Still from the "Island of the Mega Sharks" episode

81) Greenland sharks eat pretty much anything. Two men in Newfoundland rescued a large greenland shark from choking on a moose.

82) Shark skin has two layers; the top layer is made up of dead cells, while the bottom layer is made up of sensory nerve and blood cells.

Continue reading below ↓

83) There are nine known species of walking sharks.

84) Curious sharks like colors that contrast. So, an uneven tan line can attract a shark.

85) If a shark bites you, it probably won't take a second taste. They typically bite, then let go after realizing they're not eating sea animals.

86) Sharks that swim closer to the surface often have dark eyes in order to shield light from their eyes.

87) The liver, not the stomach is the largest organ in a shark's body.

88) Scientists developed an instrument in 2014 that uses electrical measurements to show where, when and how much sharks eat.

89) Blue sharks are piggy eaters. They'll keep eating until they regurgitate, after which they go back to eating.

90) Kazim Doku designed a car modeled after a shark body. It's a hovercraft that won Audi and Milan's Domus Academy's 2008 Desire Design Competition.

Still from the "Sharks of the Shadowland" episode

Continue reading below ↓

91) Electroreception allows sharks to notice changes in saltwater electricity conduction. Blood changes conductivity and sharks can smell it.

92) Though great whites are predators, they are also scavengers. In a feeding frenzy, sometimes up to 40 great whites eat a whale carcass.

93) Off the coast of Coasta Rica, Cocos Island is home to over 40 shark species, especially hammerheads.

94) The scalloped hammerhead shark is the first of the shark species to be put on the US endangered animals list.

95) Sleepwalking causes problems for some people, but what about sleep-swimming? Dogfish sharks swim while they sleep.

96) Sharks have a series of pockets under their skin that contain sensory hair cells called pit organs.

97) Why are sharks important? They keep populations of smaller fish in check. Without sharks, entire ecosystems will be disrupted.

98) The frilled shark is considered one of the best examples of what early sharks looked like.

99) Signs that a circling shark will attack: it will hunch its back, lower its pectoral fins (fins near its belly) and swim in zigzag motion.

Continue reading below ↓

100) An extinct shark called the helicoprion had a circular blade of teeth in its mouth. It looked like the world’s first pizza cutter!


Get to know more about this fearsome sea-dwellers on the following Shark Week episodes, every 9 p.m.: "Return of the Great White Serial Killer" (tonight); "Bride of Jaws" (Thursday, July 16); "Tiburones: The Sharks of Cuba" (Friday, July 17); "Sharks of the Shadowland" (Saturday, July 18); and "Super Predator" (Sunday, July 19)!

View other articles about:
Most Popular
Latest Stories
Most Popular