Sharks are awesome creatures, albeit, some of them quite terrifying. However, many species have landed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and a big reason for that is the degradation of our oceans in which they live. We encourage everyone to make a conscious effort to be kinder to our oceans — use environmentally friendly cleaning products, slather on biodegradable sunscreen and dispose of hazardous waste properly so it doesn’t end up in the ocean. Do your part and we’ll do ours.
In the meantime, enjoy these jaw-dropping shark facts in honor of one of the coolest weeks of the whole year — Shark Week!
1. The LARGEST shark: Whale Shark
The Whale Shark is the largest living shark and the largest fish in general. They measure between 18 and 32.5 feet in length, can live for 70 years and are comparable in size to a bus. A freakin’ bus!
2. The SMALLEST shark: Dwarf Lanternshark
Look at the size of your hand. The Dwarf Lanternshark is smaller than that, and has light-emitting organs that attract smaller fish on which it preys.
3. The FASTEST shark: Shortfin Mako Shark
The Shortfin Mako shark is the fastest known shark in the ocean. It has an average constant speed of about 21 MPH and can swim up to 60 MPH!
4. The SLOWEST shark: Greenland Shark
This sluggish shark cruises at an average speed of less than one mile per hour. Studies have shown that it’s far too slow to chase and attack seals, its main prey. Instead, scientists conclude that the Greenland shark sneaks up on them while they’re sleeping.
5. The MOST DOCILE shark: Whale Shark
The largest shark in the ocean would ironically be the kindest too! As it turns out, the Whale shark is one big friendly giant. They pose no threat to humans and their diet consists of zooplankton.
6. The MOST DANGEROUS shark: Bull Shark
Bull sharks can live in salt or fresh water, typically hang out in near shallow shorelines and are deemed aggressive. With these characteristics, they, along with Great White and Tiger Shark relatives, are considered to be the most dangerous to humans.
7. The SCARIEST-LOOKING shark: Goblin Shark
This may be the most subjective classification in this article, but I have a good feeling many would agree with me. The Goblin shark is a deep-sea creature whose ridiculously shark teeth are attached to elastic ligaments that extend out when needed to catch prey. Interesting, yes. Absolutely terrifying, also yes.
8. The CUTEST shark: Blue Shark
Let the Blue Shark sort of ease your increasing distress of ever going into the ocean again for fear of the Goblin shark. The Blue shark gets its name because it quite literally has blueish indigo colored skin. It has big dark eyes and looks as cute and cuddly as a shark can look.
9. The MOST-TRAVELED shark: Great White Shark
Scientists tracked a Great White they called “Lydia” from the coast of Jacksonville, Florida all the way to the U.K.’s Cornish coast! Scientists believe the shark’s traveling motives were tied to the abundance of food along the way.
10. The FRESH WATER dwelling shark: Bull Shark
This shark can survive in both salt and fresh water due to their ability to regulate water levels in their bodies despite the salinity of water they are in, (aka osmoregulation.) Bull sharks have been spotted in Lake Nicaragua, the Amazon River, the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan!