When you think about sharks, you probably picture a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. Thanks to amazingly awful shark horror movies, people generally share a deep fear of the creatures. While there have been various incidents of real-life shark attacks throughout history, sharks are not the natural man-eaters people imagine them to be. In fact, scientists agree that you're more likely to be killed by a coconut than by a shark.
Sharks are actually astounding creatures that, contrary to popular belief, don’t go around targeting every person in sight or capsizing boats out of revenge. They don't get enough credit for the positive roles they play in the oceans. For example, without sharks, the oceans would be riddled with dead aquatic life or overpopulated with fast-breeding schools of fish. This is because sharks will often feast on carcasses and consume dense sea life populations, which helps to keep the oceans clean, healthy, and balanced.
So, to all the shark haters out there: don't hate, appreciate! Discover some fascinating shark facts and learn why sharks really are the bad*sses of the sea.
A Shark's Line Of Sight Is Almost 360 Degrees
Sharks have extremely strong vision. In fact, a shark can see ten times better than a human, as far as over 100 feet away. Sharks have panoramic viewing capabilities and usually have three minor blind spots that limit their visual perception. Most are blind to whatever is directly in front of their nose, so sharks swing their heads back and forth as they swim in an effort to eliminate that blind spot.
Sharks can also effectively change their field of vision from stereoscopic (three dimensional viewing) to monocular (one eye viewing), which sacrifices perception for quality of vision.
Sharks Can Regrow Their Teeth
Sharks are known for their powerful jaws and rows of razor sharp teeth. The great white has over 300 teeth in their mouths at one time, with some laying beneath the gum line waiting to push to the surface and replace any teeth that will fall out.
Shark teeth are not attached to the gum line with a root, which allows them to grow and replace any lost teeth daily. In addition to their crazy dental disposition, sharks can also dislocate their upper jaws (and put them back in place) to widen their bite.
You Are More Likely To Be Taken Out By A Coconut Than A Shark
While you may be afraid of swimming in the ocean because of sharks, the truth is sharks are less lethal than you think. Research even shows that sharks honestly don't like the taste of human flesh, but attack out of confusion (you may resemble a seal). In fact, you're more likely to be injured or ended by a falling coconut or a mosquito than by a shark!
What's even more odd is that you're more likely to be injured or ended by a toilet-related accident than by a shark. Reports from 1996 show that over 43,000 Americans were injured in a toilet-related incident within that year, while shark injuries involved a mere 13 human-related incidents. Shark-related deaths are low, only averaging about 10 a year, which is less than one a month.
Shark Teeth Are Cleaner Than You Think
After eating schools of fish and devouring oceanic carcasses, you would think that shark teeth were far from being pearly white. But in actuality, a shark’s teeth are cleaner than you would expect because shark teeth are covered in fluoride. This makes them cavity-resistant against bacteria.
Add that to the fact that sharks replace their teeth consistently and the result is some major dental protection.