That’s right—it’s Shark Week and people are going wild for these fascinating toothy fish. What started off as a conservation effort has since become a fun week of all things shark! We’re talking about different television stations airing shark-related movies, local aquariums hosting shark events, and let’s not forget last year’s biggest shark race ever: a great white shark vs. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps! To celebrate Shark Week, we’re sharing a few interesting facts about these amazing fish.
1. Shark Week started in 1998 on the Discovery Network.
2. There are over 500 species of shark in the world.
3. There are shark fossils that date back to over 400 million years old. That means that sharks were around way before dinosaurs were!
4. Sharks don’t have bones. Instead, they have cartilaginous tissue – the same stuff that human ears are made of.
5. Most sharks have really good eyesight. They can see in color and in very dark places.
6. Sharks go into a trance-like state (that’s a sleepy state!) when they’re flipped upside down.
7. Sharks are really good hunters. Lemon sharks can detect a single drop of blood in an Olympic-sized pool.
8. The two largest sharks, the whale shark and the basking shark, are harmless to humans. They are plankton-eating sharks.
9. Sharks are listed as a vulnerable population, but some specific species are classified as threatened to be extinct. How is this happening? From overfishing in different parts of the world.
10. In the Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White race that happened in 2017, Michael Phelps lost to the great white in a 100 meter dash by two seconds. Phelps wanted a rematch, but the Great White clearly beat the Olympic swimmer. Oh, and for those of you wondering … the shark was computer-generated so no swimmer was physically harmed or in danger during this race, although an ego might have been damaged in the process.
How did you celebrate Shark Week?