Friday, August 17, 2012

Shark Week

Sadly, it's over. However, after reading a post from my friend, Ashley, over at The Interesting Abyss, I decided to write about it. Of course, I'm going to defend sharks.
Well, not really defend them, because I haven't seen anybody attack them. I just love sharks and useless information. So, I shall try to educate people about sharks.
"Sharks are dangerous, bloodthirsty, vicious things that will attack and kill you for no reason." Actually, no. On average, 100 people are bitten by a shark every year. (Keep in mind, the world is filled with seven billion.) Only about five die. However, it's very easy to prevent being bitten. Firstly, surfers/wake boarders should not go out when there is low-light. Steer clear of surfing during sunrise, sunset, or at night. It's darker, and that makes it a bit harder to see. Couple that with the fact that many sharks like to eat seals, and that the outline of a paddling surfer looks a lot like the outline of a seal, it's not the best thing to do.
Second, if you see large groups of seals in the water, use your brain. Sharks like to eat seals, and you look like a seal. Paddling, you look like the underbelly. Treading water, you look like a seal. (When they sit in the water, they sit straight up and down.)
Try to avoid excessively splashing in the water. Sharks are excellent at feeling movement. So, you splashing at the top feels like an injured fish to them. While they might not attack, they'll certainly come investigate.
That's the ends of my Tips for Not Being Bitten By A Shark. Now, it's just fun facts. Bull sharks. Do not mess with them. I mean, don't go messing with any shark, but especially not bull sharks. They're extremely territorial, with testosterone levels of 400+. So, try to steer clear of them.
They are very clever beings. Sharks have been known to figure out mazes very quickly, and then to remember the mazes for a very long time.
Jaws, everybody knows it. Duuun nun, dun nun, dun nun... It's based on the theory of "rogue sharks," or sharks that give up natural prey for humans. However, there's tons of evidence against the theory of rogue sharks, such as the fact that there hasn't been a single case of them. In 2001, a series of shark attacks at a beach led people to believe that there might be rogue sharks. But, after examining the evidence, it was our fault. Divers would go out, feed this one shark, and then reach into a fanny pack for another piece of fish. Essentially, we trained the shark.
Everybody knows that shark teeth are quite sharp, and that there are hundreds. However, did you know that their teeth have been used as weapons for hundreds of years? Oh. You did? Well, how about the reason why their teeth are so strong? They're filled with and produce fluoride. The same stuff in our tooth paste? Yeah, it grows naturally on their teeth.
Fetal sharks will swim around inside their mothers and eat the other fetal sharks. Survival of the fittest begins before birth.
Finally, mating. As Ben has so kindly told me, I know way too much about animal coitus. And I seriously do. However, I'm going to share my knowledge with you. Ever noticed how lots of sharks have scars all over their skin? Yeah, some of those can be from fights. But a lot of them are actually mating scars. It makes sense. I mean, sharks don't have any hands to hold on to each other with, and they have to constantly keep swimming to live. So, to mate, they bite each other.
Despite the fact that sharks are extremely fascinating, beautiful, and amazing creatures that have stuck around for millions of years, many people are hunting them. Sharks take a long time to mature, and have relatively low reproduction rates. So, needlessly killing them for shark-fin soup is incredibly wasteful. Let's save sharks, so that our kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and all future generations can appreciate these fearsome beasts.

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