In honor of “Shark Week,” HellaWella brings you five of the most interesting myths and facts about one of the most intriguing creatures of the sea.
Fact: Sharks continuously produce new teeth.
According to renowned shark researcher Samuel Gruber, sharks replace their teeth up to 50,000 times in a lifetime. Sharks are unique among vertebrates in this way, and it’s why shark teeth are a common fossil.
Myth: Sharks seek human prey.
Out of the more than 80 million people that participate in water activities each year, only a handful experience shark attacks, Gruber says. In fact, more often than not, a shark attack happens because the human looked like more common prey.
Fact: Sharks are smart.
Sharks have some of the largest brains among all fish and have exhibited complex social behaviors. Some species use body language while others hunt in packs, all signs of animal intelligence.
Myth: Sharks are more dangerous to humans than we are to them.
Despite the media attention, the number of deadly shark attacks each year is very small (fewer than 20 people). However, human activity is responsible for the deaths of 20 million to 100 million sharks each year, according to data from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.
Fact: Sharks have no bones.
A shark’s skeleton is made up of cartilage, the same stuff that forms the shape of your ear.