8 Things You’ve Probably Got Wrong About Sharks

Movies like Jaws have given sharks a bad reputation. While they’re often perceived as fearsome predators out for human blood, people pose a far greater threat to sharks than sharks do to people. Check out these 8 common misconceptions about sharks and gain a better understanding of these interesting creatures.

Sharks Want to Eat Humans

1-172

Sharks typically have very little interest in humans, and most of the time when they bite someone it’s because they’re defending their territory or have mistaken a human for prey.

Shark Attacks Happen All the Time

2-170

Shark attacks are actually extremely uncommon. You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than be bitten by a shark.

Sharks Are All Predators at the Top of the Food Chain

3-148

There are actually nearly 400 different species of sharks, and many of them are quite different, meaning there’s no typical shark. Some sharks subsist mostly on diets of plankton.

Nothing Can Hurt Sharks

4-65

Sharks are very vulnerable to human hunting, and populations around the world are in decline due to illegal and unregulated fishing.

Sharks Die If They Stop Moving

5-34

This is actually only true for about a couple dozen species of sharks, but these include popular breeds like the Great White, so it’s understandable how this myth got started.

Sharks Have Brains the Size of Walnuts

6-35

Sharks are actually quite smart, with large brains that help them stay acutely aware of their environments. They can even be trained.

Sharks Aren’t Important to Ocean Ecosystems

7-35

Sharks actually perform many important tasks in marine communities, including keeping abundant populations in check and keeping fish populations healthy by eating the sick and weak.

Sharks Don’t Get Cancer

8-33

Some alternative medicine products that include shark cartilage market themselves as cancer cures, because supposedly sharks don’t get cancer. Unfortunately, this is a complete myth, and sharks are susceptible to cancer just like humans.

Sharks are often hunted for their fins, which is greatly reducing their worldwide populations. Sign this petition to tell FedEx to stop shipping shark fins and supporting the senseless deaths of sharks.

Proper TES earthsite_belowcontent
The Earth Site is a place where people can come together to learn about and protect our environment for generations to come. Amazing stories about ecosystems, natural phenomena, and wildlife come together here to paint a full-color picture of our incredible home. Read, share, and enjoy!