This is a question that comes up a lot; the reason you see this in the Tips category
is that fear of sharks (and other aquatic “monsters”) is not only blown way out
of proportion, but drilled into most of our psyches by movies such as “Jaws”.
There truly is no need to fear sharks in the ocean, although some education never
There are sharks in every ocean in the world, the Bahamas being home to myriad
types including: reef sharks, nurse sharks, lemons, bulls and rays (cousins to
sharks) and others. While a few of these are known man-eaters, there are few
incidents of death recorded each year. In fact, the number is so low that it
is more dangerous to drink coffee than swim in the ocean.
Sharks are predators of the deep, but they also serve an incredibly important
function in the aquatic ecosystem. they eat the oceans’ “roadkill”, keeping disease
to a minimum and the oceans clean from decay. Known to possess unusual resistance
to cancer, they are a potential boon for medical researchers. Sharks are also
one of the oldest animal species on the planet, essentially staying the same
for millions of years.
Myth: sharks attack on sight. Most sharks are curious and easily spooked;
a quick move will often send a shark darting in the other direction, as they
have no idea what to make of something that holds its ground.
True: sharks are attracted to the smell of blood. Sharks have incredibly
acute olfactory senses, and they do track down blood (up to miles away!). If
you are cut, get out of the water, simple as that.
The bottom line: sharks DO attack people, and sometimes lead to death.
Are you going to get bitten? Not likely. Unless you swim around with a chum sack
attached to your hip, you stand a better chance of being hit by a 747. Yeah,
the odds are in your favor.
Go, swim in the ocean, have fun and if you see a shark, count yourself lucky
and ponder at the majesty of one of the planets oldest, most perfectly developed
eco-machines. They are beautiful to behold.
Written by Jesse Siglow