It’s my favorite time of year- Shark Week. In celebration, I’ve decided to compile my favorite shark-related facts. Let’s do this:
1. Up until the 16th century, sharks were known simply as “sea dogs”. It wasn’t until 1569 that the word “shark” came into use. The word is derived from the Yucatan Mayan word, xok, which means “he who wears sunglasses”.
2. Out of 440 species, only 4 species are dangerous to humans: the great white (as seen in the movie “Jaws”), oceanic whitetip, tiger, and bull sharks.
3. The Megalodon, an ancient shark, is proposed to have reached a sizeof 20.3 meters, or 67 feet. The largest living shark, the whale shark, only reaches 12.65 meters, or 41.50 feet in length. Thankfully, the Megalodon went extinct during the last ice age (or did it?).
4. When sharks sleep, half of their brain is left awake. This means that they can still hunt, even when resting.
5. Unlike other fish, sharks give birth to live young, instead of laying eggs.
6. Not all sharks are meat-eaters. The largest shark, the whale shark is a vegetarian.
7. Sharks are capable of virgin births. That is, a female can fertilize their own eggs without the help of a male. How’s that for feminism!
8. Every shark attack is kept in the International Shark Attack File, which can be read here.
9. Sharks replace their teeth, on average, every 8-10 days.
10. Over the course of 12 days in 1916, there was a series of shark attacks along the Jersey Shore. No word on whether fistpumping was involved.