Many people are afraid of entering the water where sharks may reside. Here in Bali, our shark population has been greatly affected by shark finning and unsustainable fishing practices. Read our 5 facts about sharks you might have not known. Some of them might also show, that there is no real reason to be afraid of sharks.
- There are over 500 different kinds of sharks, but only four of them are considered dangerous to humans: Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, Bull Sharks, Tiger Sharks and Great White Sharks – none of these are found in Bali.
- The Greenland shark is one of the slowest-moving fish ever recorded. It is so slow it can only eat something, if it is asleep, dead or wanders into its mouth. However, it has been found with reindeer, polar bears, and fast-moving seals in its stomach. It’s thought that Greenland Sharks prey upon sleeping seals, which snooze in the water to avoid polar bears.
- Sharks are safer than coconuts! That’s really true; Coconuts present a far greater danger than sharks during a tropical vacation. Roughly 150 people are killed every year by falling coconuts — they are really, really heavy and fall from great heights — compared to around 5 yearly fatalities from shark attacks.
- Shark teeth are covered in fluoride, making them cavity-resistant. Sharks’ enamel is made up of a chemical called fluoridate, which is resistant to acid produced by bacteria. This, combined with the fact that most sharks replace their teeth throughout their lives, means that sharks have excellent dental health.
- Sharks have been mythologised in our culture as ruthless brutes and hunters, but the truth is humans are way more of a threat to sharks than sharks are to us. About 100 million sharks are killed annually, mostly related to “finning” (when the shark fins are sliced off and sold, often for soup). In comparison, sharks kill only around 5 humans every year!
There is no real reason to be scared of sharks here in Bali. On our diving and snorkelling trips to Padang Bai or Nusa Penida we occasionally see some White Tip or Black Tip Reef Sharks, or if you are very lucky a Wobbegong shark as pictured above. It is an amazing sight to watch these beautiful creatures gliding through the water.
Have you seen sharks on your diving adventures before? Let us know your stories and favorite moments!