You scared of sharks?
In reality, you have more chances of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a shark. Still, sharks do have a bad rap, even though they’re not horrible as people think.
They’ve even been known to save people!
Here’s my list of why I think sharks are cool!
1. They keep the ecosystem in balance
Because of excessive hunting, there are fewer sharks around the world.
People hunt them to get ingredients for things like shark fin soup or shark cartilage pills, without realizing that not enough sharks means not enough oxygen for us all to breathe.
What’s the connection?
Sharks feed on smaller fish, and smaller fish feed on phytoplankton – tiny organisms that live in the seabed.
Phytoplankton consumes carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen.
Without sharks, there’ll be too many fish eating the plankton.
It all boils down to one thing –a lack of oxygen.
2. They help cure diseases
Scientists are continuously studying these fascinating creatures, leading to medical breakthroughs.
They’re especially interested in shark DNA, and the possibility that it holds a cure for tumors, since their genes, in some way, protect sharks against them.
What’s more, researchers found a special compound called squalamine in dogfish sharks’ tissue that can fight various chronic infections in humans.
Likewise, sharks’ skin has unique antibacterial properties, which inspired scientists to invent a special surface-coating called Sharklet.
Sharklet mimics the diamond pattern of shark skin and is used in hospitals to reduce the risk of infection.
3. They inspire design innovations
Great white sharks can move at a speed of up to 25 mph.
The secret is in their denticles – small, flat, V-shaped scales.
These scales significantly lessen drag force and turbulence.
Olympian swimsuit designers did their best to duplicate the sharks’ denticles, creating a fabric that makes swimmers sleeker and faster in the water.
The shark’s fin also became a huge inspiration for inventing new technology for clean energy.
One Australian company made a device that captures tidal energy from the ocean, and converts it into electric power with minimal
4. They might improve planes and cars
A 2018 Harvard University study suggests that these unique denticles on sharks’ skin can also help to create more efficient planes and cars.
The team of engineers found out that they
Lift is the force that pulls a plane up when the pressure of the air on the top of the wing is less than the pressure of the airunder the bottom of the wing.
So, by incorporating 3D-printed images of the denticles on the wings, engineers hope to make them more aerodynamic.
They can also be used for vortex generators – a small vane attached to the top of the rear windshield of a car, which increases the downforce of a vehicle.
5. They prevent global warming
As you already know, the shark population is declining.
This means that there are much more turtles, crabs, and stingrays.
And their favorite food is seagrass.
But seagrass is a vital part of the blue carbon ecosystem, which captures and stores carbon 40 times more efficiently than tropical rainforests.
That’s why, without sharks, the marine creatures keep eating the seagrass, disrupting the blue carbon ecosystems, and releasing ancient carbon.
This has the same effect as the greenhouse gas emissions from cars that destroy the ozone layer, leading to unpredictable and harmful climate change.
6. They make people richer
People are scared of sharks, but they’re also fascinated by these majestic predators.
And over the last two decades, this fascination has turned into a thriving ecotourism industry.
The desire to get close to sharks pays off really well – it brings millions of dollars to the economies of the Bahamas, South Africa, the Galápagos Islands, Australia, and many other coastal places.
Shark diving tourism is especially popular, and it boosts local businesses, like diving companies and boat rentals.
Hey, would you dare to try shark diving?
Let me know in the comments!
7. They can save people
Back in 2010, a 41-year-old man from Kiribati, an island country in the central Pacific Ocean, got carried away into open waters on a wooden boat.
He was stranded out there with almost no water or fuel for 105 days.
No one knows how long his ordeal would’ve lasted had it not been for one shark.
Just when he’d lost all hope, a miracle happened.
He woke up to the sounds of a huge shark bumping his boat – the animal was circling it into the direction of a ship.
The people on the ship saw the lonely man
in the boat and helped him reunite with his
The man was deeply thankful, not only to those people, but to the smart shark too.
8. They can be your friend
A diving instructor from Port Macquarie, Australia, has been buddies with a female Port Jackson shark for over half a decade.
The man met his friend when the shark was just a pup.
At first, he approached the shark carefully not wanting to scare her off.
Pretty soon she got used to him and let him pat, and even cradle her.
After that, the two became regular friends.
The shark always recognizes the man and demands hugs at each visit.
He doesn’t want his story to encourage others to take risks around these marine creatures, but he hopes people will stop seeing them as only aggressive attackers.
If you’re still not convinced that sharks are pretty cool, then get ready to hear some
amazing shark facts that’ll blow your mind!