It’s Shark week and we all know what that means — it’s that time of the year where sharks rule basic cable!
For those of you who aren’t well versed with what Shark week is, well it’s an annual week long programming block that runs on the Discovery channel around this time of the year and it’s an absolute mega hit with record-breaking numbers!
Growing up, I was a huge shark nerd and would be glued to my TV set watching a plethora of amazing shark shows such as ‘Shark Gordon’!
The rage didn’t stop there, I made a promise to myself that I would go shark cage diving one day & I’m pleased to say that last year I delivered on that promise!
I was in South Africa and drove down to the Gansbaai area where I had my long awaited encounter with the famous GREAT WHITE SHARK!
I think these creatures (sharks in general) are absolutely majestic and magnificent! For those who are just getting their intro to sharks, please allow me to give you a quick crash course of the famous ones that I think everyone should know about — just FYI that I think you should know them because they’re the most dangerous ;-)
GREAT WHITE SHARK
Ok, so lets start with the most famous shark of them all. This shark is the biggest macropredatory shark (not the biggest shark since that would be the appropriately named Whale Shark) that roams the waters. It can grow up to 6 meters in length and can weigh up to 4300 lbs. Now, this shark was made famous by the novel ‘Jaws’, which basically caused a lot of people to fear this creature, which is unfortunate since this creature deserves us to be in awe of it rather than fear it!
I think this shark is sooo beautiful because of it’s tiger stripes (which is where the name comes from obviously). It’s second largest predatory shark, right behind the Great White. Tiger sharks love to eat — rats, cats, dogs, sheep, goats and even horses have been found in the stomachs of tiger sharks off the coast of Hawaii. You think that’s something…well guess what else was found in their stomachs….plastic bottles, beer bottles, old tires, nails, oil cans, baseballs, clothing, license plates and even explosives. No wonder the tiger shark has been nicknamed “the garbage can of the sea”.
This shark is named the ‘Bull’ because of its heavily built body. It’s got some more tendencies of a bull such as it’s bad temper and its tendency to bump (using its snout) into anything that angers it. Bull sharks are one of the few sharks that can live in both saltwater and freshwater. As large and fearsome as they are, they are not on the top of the food chain. Bull sharks are often preyed on by larger bull sharks (talk about bullying), killer whales and at times by crocodiles when they’re in swimming in the rivers. Oh and an interesting point, the bull shark has the strongest bite of all that sharks, even beating the Great White!
The above sharks are the 3 most dangerous sharks and well over half of all lethal attacks on humans over the centuries have come from them.
The remaining seven species on the 10 most dangerous sharks list, in order of their recorded number of unprovoked lethal and non-lethal attacks over the centuries are:
4. The requiem shark
5. The sand tiger shark
6. The blacktip shark
7. The narrowtooth shark
8. The hammerhead shark
9. The spinner shark
10. The blue shark
Now now, these are wild animals — what else did you expect from them? Like I said before, it’s unfortunate that they’re feared — we have to be in awe of them! It’s important to understand that sharks are pivotal for our eco-systems and we have to work towards their conservation. We have to understand that it’s not the sharks that are dangerous but our ignorance about them which is! I definitely implore you to check out these amazing creatures in the wild and really educate yourselves about them.
It’s my ultimate goal to have a shark cage diving experience in South Africa on MYrago so that I can do my small part in promoting education about these creatures. Hopefully that will come to fruition sooner rather than later. BUT, if you happen to be in South Africa, I would definitely recommend to try out these other experiences that we already have on there in addition to checking out awesome sharks.…check them out here
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