A quick look at some cool facts you may or may not already know about the white shark's teeth and how they helps us understand what it is capable of eating. Check right below for the bonus footage video.
While in southern California I decided it was a priority to be able to swim in the ocean on a regular, if not daily basis. The colder waters of my home region of the San Francisco Bay are a bit too chilly for me, thus forcing me to make a priority decision in life. If I really want to be able to comfortably swim in the ocean daily I would need to move to an area with warmer waters.
This information also indicated that white sharks didn’t stay in the bay long. But apparently they stay long enough to feed on pinnipeds from time to time as this rare and amazing video shows (it seems this was filmed on the Alcatraz Island dock during a routine tourist trip to the prison).
So if white sharks are present and interested in eating, how is it that no one has ever been bitten by a white shark while swimming in the bay? How about the annual Escape from Alcatraz swim? With that many people in the water every year it seems that the odds of at least one of them being bitten would be high.
Or is the opposite true? In Western Australia, where the current government is hell bent on hunting white sharks for the sake of “public safety”, an another group swim through waters filled with white sharks, tiger sharks, and dusky sharks, also takes place on an annual basis WITHOUT ANY INCIDENT WITH A SHARK EVER.
Is there truly safety in numbers? According to Dr. Christopher Neff, that has a large part to do with it.
But maybe there’s a more basic lesson to learn here. Perhaps instead of pursuing the death of another animal to make us safer…perhaps instead of pursuing technology in order to make us safer…
maybe we could actually adopt responsible survival behavior to increase our safety level when entering an ecosystem…you know, techniques used by every other living thing on this planet.
Laura Banks’s headline “When sharks eat people it’s time to cull” immediately made me think “When journalists intentionally lie, it’s time to fire them.” The damage articles such as the crap published by the Daily Mail UK, the Daily Telegraph, etc. is immeasurable both in terms of damage done to humans and to marine life and we will never move forward with real “beach safety” strategies when we are approaching these strategies with heads full of lies.
Sharks do bite (and occasionally kill) people...just less than anything else on the planet. And even more rarely do they consume the person they bit. In most cases in history where sharks have consumed human flesh they did so when the human was already dead. This means the shark was in scavenging mode, cleaning the ocean.
Those of us who have observed white sharks in person have been humbled by the size, power, speed, and agility of these animals. Others of us have even seen the white shark in process of killing a pinniped (seal, sea lion, elephant seal, etc.) which wakes us up to what the difference between an investigative bite and the desire to consume looks like.
Did you know the shark bite wasn't even the most interesting part of the story!?
The list of circumstances that were required in order for Rodney Fox to get to the hospital in time to survive his encounter with a great white shark is nothing short of miraculous. Here's the "Shark Minutes" version of the story.
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Want to see this type of behavior first hand? Fill out the form below to begin your journey. WSV is able to offer a discounted internship working with these sharks in Mossel Bay. Click here to start.
A highly debated topic as the shark diving industry grows. Does the shark awareness that is created by images such as Ocean Ramsey and others swimming with large sharks outweigh the risk of inexperienced people trying to do the same?
Footage by Skyler Thomas for WSV unless otherwise stated.
Footage of Ocean Ramsey diving with the white shark shot by Chris Wade of Sea Watch Shark Boat. Support his work at Sharkboat.org
Support Ocean Ramsey and learn about shark behavior by booking a trip with her dive company at oneoceandiving.com
Music by Tyler Newman
If the first advertisement is any indication then my answer is yes and then some.
While everyone else oohs and ahhhs about Shark Week 2015 (hosted by a horror film director) I guess I'll be the designated grump. A couple of the guys who helped film Shark Week 2015 (whom I am not allowed to mention until after SW) assured me that this year would be much higher quality content than years past. Either the producers fooled the cameramen or this advertisement is not representative of the actual episodes because THIS LOOKS WORSE THAN EVER!
Not only was fear and drama the driving force behind the entire ad, but this year they are also glorifying all the assholes on Youtube that have done things that you absolutely should not do. The next fiscal year will be full of even dumber people doing dumber things to get on next year's Shark Week. Hopefully I'm wrong, and please tell me why I am, but for now I'm saying #sharkweekstillsucks
And here we come, earth’s most dominant species, entering this dynamic ocean ecosystem largely for recreational reasons, as though it’s some sort of oversized swimming pool. Recreation...as in used for entertainment and leisure, not necessity or survival. Is it OK to kill predators in the ocean to keep people safe during their recreation? Human life is valuable after all, we don’t want our friends and loves ones being bitten by sharks.Let’s apply a similar scenario except on land this time.
If a group of people decided the serengeti would make the perfect place to play 18 holes of golf, would that make it OK to kill the lions that live there to ensure human safety? Human life is valuable after all, we don’t want our friends and loves ones being mauled by lions and hyenas.
Oh, right, we don’t HAVE to golf there. Just like we don’t HAVE to surf, swim, dive, work or play in waters where it is known that large sharks exist.
So how do we explain something that appears to be a double standard? Is it because we are less familiar with marine animals than terrestrial animals? Is it because it’s a fish, not a mammal? Or is it because lions are limited to certain areas of Africa while sharks can be found in oceans around the globe (making them more inconvenient)? If the latter, this is simply because we’ve already wiped out most large land predators from areas we have chosen to use for ourselves.
So are the oceans doomed to the same fate?
The Price of Existence is the blog and film series from WSV
Debra Canabal of Epic Diving in the WSV hoodie. Get yours!
About the Author
Skyler Thomas is the primary blog contributor, cinematographer, and lead editor at White Shark Video.