Tag: sharks

Shark Attack in Egypt? Must Be the Work of Israeli Agents

By Jennifer Welsh | December 13, 2010 11:27 am

swimmersA recent smattering of shark attacks in the shallow waters of the Egyptian resort city Sharm el-Sheikh has visitors in a state of JAWS-like panic. The sharks (now known to be individuals of at least two different species) attacked five times over six days, killing a German tourist and severely injuring four others.

The state of panic is a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theories. One Sharm el-Sheikh diver named Captain Mustafa Ismail believes that the sharks were trained to attack Egyptians by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. He explained his theory to Egypt Today (as retold by Ahram Online):

When asked by the anchor how the shark entered Sharm El Sheikh waters, he burst out, “no, it’s who let them in?” Urged to elaborate, Ismail said that he recently got a call from an Israeli diver in Eilat telling him that they captured a small shark with a GPS planted in its back, implying that the sharks were monitored to attack in Egypt’s waters only. “Why would these sharks travel 4000 km and not have any accidents until they entered Sinai waters?” asked Ismail.

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Hunting Sharks Are the Mathematicians of the Seas

By Joseph Calamia | June 10, 2010 2:30 pm

sharkSure, when blood hits the water, sharks know exactly where to go. But how do they hunt for less-obvious meals? New research says they use math.

How exactly the sharks move seems to vary with how much food is around.

Imagine yourself in a Walgreens, picking up a few necessities on your way home from work. You might make short movements, darting between aisles, crossing and recrossing your path as you debate between generic and name-brand. Apparently, sharks do the same thing when they have a lot of food in one area. Scientists even suggest their pattern is Brownian, no more intelligent than the aimless sway of microscopic particles buffeted by water molecules.

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Sea Section: Shark Bites Shark & 4 Babies Pop Out

By Eliza Strickland | November 12, 2009 6:25 pm

sharkSome sharks have a nasty habit of taking bites out of each other, but in an aquarium in New Zealand one aggressive shark ended up doing its tank-mate a favor when it tore out a piece of the second shark’s belly. Visitors at Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World watched in shock as four baby sharks popped out of the gaping wound. The visitors ran to notify the aquarium staff, who quickly removed the babies.

Via the New Zealand Herald:

[Aquarium staff member Fiona] Davies said the unusual delivery had probably saved the baby sharks’ lives.

Staff did not know the mother was pregnant and, had she given birth naturally, most likely at night, the babies would have been eaten by adult sharks and stingrays before staff could rescue them.

When the mom was removed from the communal tank to get her wound stitched up, vets found four more babies inside her. All are reportedly doing well, despite the spontaneous C-section.

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Image: flickr / snickclunk

New Shark Has "Retractable Sex Appendage" on Its Forehead

By Brett Israel | September 23, 2009 12:40 pm

shark_web“Really! I was born that way! I swear!” A new species of shark was discovered in California recently, called the Eastern Pacific black ghostshark. It’s part of a group known as big black chimeras, and members of the species have actually been laying around pickled in museums since the 1960s—but only recently have scientists realized that the black ghostsharks were in fact a separate species.

One possibility is that past scientists were too distracted by the sharks’, er, highly unusual feature that they lumped them in with the other chimeras.

Douglass Long, author of the study (PDF) detailing the new species, described the shark to National Geographic News:

Male chimeras…have retractable sexual appendages sprouting from their foreheads. These organs, which resemble a spiked club at the end of a stalk, may be used to stimulate a female or to pull her closer—though these are still assumptions, Long said.

So basically these guys have a mace swinging from their forehead that they use to club female sharks. Talk about a remarkable trick of animal mating.

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Image: MBARI

Is the Recession Keeping You from Being Eaten by a Shark?

By Melissa Lafsky | February 20, 2009 3:43 pm

Shark!When people have less money, they tend to do less of certain things, like buy $3,000 jackets, order the $250 omakase, and pick up diamond-encrusted lingerie for their penthouse-dwelling mistresses. They also don’t typically fork over as much cash for vacations to beaches, islands, and other ocean-bordering locales.

The good news: Since all these recession-battered folks are crouched in their living rooms watching their 401K values plummet on a laptop screen, they aren’t swimming and cavorting in waters that are also frequented by permanent residents, such as sharks. With fewer humans and sharks in physical proximity, we have fewer chances for said sharks to munch on passing surfers and snorklers. Logical? Absolutely.

Of course, all logic can be twisted and mangled with a little help from the English language. Which brings us to the following LiveScience headline: “Economic Recession Means Fewer Shark Attacks.”Ah where shall we begin…

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Freakish, Caribou-Eating Creature Haunts the Arctic Deep

By Lizzie Buchen | May 6, 2008 3:56 pm

freak-shark.jpg According to Inuit myth, a urine-soaked cloth was once whipped from an old lady’s hand and carried out to sea, where it turned into a sea monster called “skalugsuak.” Of its legendary peculiarities, skalugsuak lives for 200 years, has thousands of teeth, weighs over a ton, eats caribou whole, has skin that can destroy human flesh, and possesses—in place of eyes—living, glowing creatures which lure its prey.

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