22 Things You Didn't Know About Sharks

Over 1.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of 22 Things You Didn't Know About Sharks
Voting Rules
Vote up the most fascinating facts about these sharp-toothed creatures of the deep.

There is so much more to sharks than the popular image of them as cold-blooded, man-eating killing machines. Sure they're some of the most evolved and capable hunters in the animal kingdom, but there are plenty of shark facts that can better our understanding of these creatures and have you captivated by more than just their impressive teeth.

Sharks have been known to curiously investigate humans and other objects in their environment that are strange to them. So indulge your curiosity for facts about sharks. Get to know their evolutionary history and their biology. Learn what makes them so impressive with the shark information collected in the list below!

  • 1
    332 VOTES

    Megalodons Are Amazing!

    Megalodons Are Amazing!
    Photo: Serge Illaryonov / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
    The picture is a to scale restoration, but many of the teeth in the sculpture were real fossilized teeth. The giant C. Megalodon sharks are now extinct but scientists believe that they could grow as long as 60 feet! "Megalodon" actually means "big tooth" in Ancient Greek.
    332 votes
  • 2
    309 VOTES

    Hammerheads Have a 360 Degree View of the World Around Them

    One of the most distinctive looking types of sharks, it is believed that the shape of the shark's head and positioning of its eyes is an evolutionary adaptation to give it superior views of its surroundings. Hammerheads have a virtually 360 degree view at all times, letting them efficiently sweep for prey.
    309 votes
  • 3
    353 VOTES

    Orcas Eat Great White Sharks

    If you ever saw Jaws, you could be forgiven for thinking that those cold blooded eating machines were at the top of the food chain. But in fact there is a species that feeds on them: killer whales, or orcas. Orcas are the true apex predators of their ecosystems, which means that no other animals prey on them.
    353 votes
  • 4
    288 VOTES

    Sharks Can Sense You from Your Body's Electricity

    Sort of. Sharks have an array of electroreceptors in the pores around their mouths. These receptors can detect tiny electromagnetic fields made by things as seemingly inconsequential as muscle contractions or movements in living organisms. In the conductive environment of sea water, sharks have been measured detecting electric fields as weak as 5/1,000,000,000 of a volt per centimeter of receptor tissue.

    There is no hiding from a shark - this is almost as conductive as the most high-tech man-made materials.
    288 votes
  • 5
    261 VOTES

    Some Sharks Are Tiny and Adorable

    The smallest known species of sharks is the dwarf lanternshark, found only in the underwater continental slopes of Colombia and Venezuela. These little sharks only grow as long as eight inches. Yes, inches.
    261 votes
  • 6
    189 VOTES

    Omnivorous Sharks Exist

    In August 2018, Samantha C. Leigh, Yannis P. Papastamantiou, and Donovan P. German published a study revealing that the bonnethead shark doesn't just eat fish - it munches on seagrass as well. Up to 60% of the hammerhead's diet consists of seagrass, while the rest is bony fish, snails, shrimp, and bony fish. 

    "It's the first known omnivorous species of shark," Leigh said. Before the study, researchers knew bonnetheads occasionally chewed on seagrass, but Leigh says "it has been assumed by most that this consumption was incidental and that it provided no nutritional value." Leigh and co. learned that this shark was better at digesting plant material than pandas and that the seagrass has nutritional value for the shark.

    189 votes