Yesterday, while scrolling through friends’ FB posts, I came across a video of Deep Blue, the world’s largest great white shark ever caught on tape. She’s over 7 meters long, which to us Americans is almost 23 feet long. 23 feet of terror.
In the video I saw, this guy wasn’t even in the shark cage which Deep Blue was swimming around. He was ON TOP of the shark cage.
I don’t know a whole lot about shark cages but I think they only save you from the great big scary shark if you’re actually behind the bars. But maybe I’m wrong. Either way…you couldn’t pay me enough to get me in a shark cage. Well no, that’s not true, but you’d have to pay me A LOT.
Look at this next picture……
This picture gives me chills. Have you ever seen an animal that looks like it wants to eat you as much as this shark looks like it wants to eat you? And not because it’s hungry and wants to eat you to survive, it wants to eat you because it’s EVIL. At least that’s what this photo says to me.
The other day Tom and I were driving in the car and I was talking about that giant shark and I said, “I read once that sharks don’t actually like how humans taste. They usually bite to see what a human is, and then they swim away. And a lot of the time they just bite humans because they think we might be seals.”
Tom’s response was “huh!”
Let me say this about Tom, I have come to know him well enough to know when he doesn’t fully believe me about something but he either a) doesn’t want to offend me by calling me out on it or b) just doesn’t feel like having the discussion. Have you ever had a small child who you love very much talk to you about something completely ridiculous, like maybe how a giraffe would win a fight against a T-rex, and you don’t really want to argue with them because you love them and they’re pretty cute, if maybe a little dumb, and it’s been kind of a long day and you’ve got a lot on your mind so you just say “huh!” in a kind of surprised but noncommittal way….that’s how Tom says “huh” to me sometimes.
So I Googled it. And you know what? I was wrong. All those things I said are a myth. Well, not the shark swimming away after one bite, but the reason they do it is different. According to several articles I read, sharks bite humans because they usually don’t know what a human is so they’re testing us with their teeth. Sharks, especially great whites, are intelligent, curious, and investigative animals. When a great white bites something they’re looking for tactile evidence as to what it is. Great whites use their teeth the same way us humans use our hands. So a bite from a great white could just be it trying to figure out what the heck this thing it’s encountered is.
Great whites also have really good eye-sight, and they see in color, so its highly unlikely that they ever mistake a human for a pinniped.
Quick side note….a pinniped is another word for seal which I learned when reading these articles about sharks. Later that night while cooking dinner, pinniped came up in one of the Jeopardy clues and I got the answer right and I was so proud of myself for getting it right that I then got embarrassed about how much of a nerd I am.
Sharks spit out most humans after one bite because we’re too bony and our fat content is too low. Great whites have really slow digestive tracts and if they eat something bony it slows down their digestion for days which keeps them from eating other things and then they get all sluggish. So unless you’re a really overweight human, sharks would usually prefer to eat a seal.
One article said that sharks approach humans and bite them to see what they’ll do and assess what type of prey they are. If you try to swim away from a shark they’ll figure you’re weak and easy prey. The answer? Fight back. Try to gouge out their eyes.
So, the best way to survive a shark attack is to stay skinny, only swim with overweight people, and when the shark comes to make its investigative bites just shout to the others, “Swim away! I’ll sacrifice myself and fight it off!” This will establish the others as the weak and easy prey to pick off while also making you appear to be the alpha, the one to fear. It will also make you look like a hero. And then, while the others are trying to flee, just gouge out the shark’s eyes.
Piece of cake.
Oh, also, stay away from New Smyrna Beach, Florida because that’s where the highest number of great white attacks occur. Also, fish spawning grounds are a no-no because pinnipeds hang out there, and where there’s lots of pinnipeds there’s lots of sharks.
Did you know that you’re actually twice as likely to die from a vending machine accident than you are from a shark attack?
I learned that from a “fun facts” website that I stumbled across today.
I also learned on that same website that in Switzerland you can legally hire a creepy clown to stalk your child on their birthday and then shove a cake in their face at an optimal time of the clown’s own choosing. I think anyone who does that to their child should have their kid taken away. That’s a form of abuse.
One more fact…not shark or clown-related. A Spanish galleon was found on the ocean floor of the Caribbean with an estimated $17 billion worth of treasure in it. Tom told me about this and I thought they had just recently discovered the ship, but it turns out they found it about four years ago and are just releasing details about it now.
I’m telling you this because it’s was pretty awesome to think that treasure hunting can actually be a lucrative business and is not just something done by Mathew McConaughey in movies. And I think it’s cool that they found sunken treasure. I shared this story with my 4-year-olds at the preschool today but nary a one of them gave even the littlest inkling of a shit. So I’m sharing the story with you, my reader, now because I feel like you might care a little bit more.
Either that or you’re thinking “huh!”