Thanks to all the horror movies depicting a freakishly huge shark seen preying on the innocent beach goers, people are now frantically afraid of these misunderstood sea creatures. Yes okay, let’s not ignore the dangerous element to coming face to face with these predators but the reality is they are not the monsters they made out to be. Here are a few common myths about sharks that might help you understand and appreciate them.
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Sharks Hate Humans!
Contrary to what you might be thinking, sharks aren’t some angry, over-grown fish with a personal vendetta against the human race. They are predators by nature so their instinct is to hunt for food. Sharks have been known to attack humans when they are curious. When a shark sees a human splashing in the water, they may try to investigate.
Sharks Love Human Flesh
If sharks really did love human flesh then I’m pretty sure there would be a lot more fatal shark attacks in the world with a constant group of sharks circling around the busy beaches. Yet, out of more than 300 species of sharks, there have only been about a dozen involved in shark attacks on humans. Typically sharks seek out other smaller fish, sea lions or other marine mammals that they can overpower.
Sharks Are Not Important
According to researchers, sharks are an important species in the ecosystem. They assist in maintaining the natural order to marine life. However, the number of sharks are on the decline since there has been a growing demand for shark fins in the market. They are also hunted for their meat, internal organs and skin to produce lubricant and leather. Sharks have more to fear from us than we do of them.
All Sharks Look the Same
If you are under the impression that all sharks look like the shark in the ‘Jaws’ blockbuster then you are sadly mistaken. There are almost 400 species of sharks in the vast ocean and they all range from different sizes and colours. Some prefer the cold waters of the Atlantic while the others prefer the warmer Pacific Ocean.
All Sharks Want to Kill Humans
This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. In fact, only about 6 people per year are killed by shark attack yet about 100 million sharks are killed by humans per year. Humans pose a bigger threat to sharks than they are to humans. Today, we find more people are becoming aware of sharks and the important role they play in the ecosystem. Shark cage diving has even become a highly popular activity in recent years.