NEW YORK—From the blood thirsty Great White shark devouring swimmers in “Jaws” to Bruce the Australian shark struggling with his quest to see fish as friends and not food in Disney and Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” sharks have succumbed to many negative myths and misconceptions. With Shark Week 2017 coming to an end (and Michael Phelps not actually racing a Great White), we thought we’d share some lesser known facts about one of the earth’s oldest creatures to top off the festivities.
Sharks have inhabited the earth’s oceans for approximately 400 million years and have evolved very little since that time. According to the video “The Secret of a Shark’s Eyes” on the Smithsonian website, “one of the most misunderstood components of a shark is its eye.”
The video went on to detail that the Great White shark’s eyes are around five times the size of the human eye but their structures are almost identical. Therefore, the Great White has the ability to see light, movement, color, contrast and detail.
Did You Know? (http://shark-facts.com/)
- Even though shark’s have eyelids, they don’t blink. Instead they rely on water to cleanse their eyes.
- Some sharks have tough membranes that slide over their eyes to protect while hunting or being attacked.
- The species that don’t have tough membranes have the ability to roll their eyes backward when striking prey.
- The tapetum lucidum, a reflective layer in the back of a shark’s eye, doubles the intensity of light allowing sharks to see well in dim conditions.
BONUS FACT: “A shark’s cornea is so similar to a human’s that they have been used as a replacement in human eye surgery.”
One of the companies in our industry, Costa Sunglasses, has been a longtime partner of an organization called OCEARCH, “an at-sea lab led by explorers and researchers who generate critical data and put science on the side of sharks.”
Their aim through the #DontFeartheFin campaign is to erase fear through education in order to help protect sharks which in turn helps protect the delicate balance among the ocean’s ecosystems.
One of the most famous sharks that OCEARCH is tracking is Mary Lee, the Great White who has gone from feared and misunderstood to social media darling. This female shark was tagged on Sept. 17, 2012 in Cape Cod and is making quite a splash with her nearly 127K Twitter followers on her account @MaryLeeShark. Viewers can’t seem to get enough of her adventures from cruising the Jersey Shore to relaxing in the Hamptons.
Additionally, the Costa + OCEARCH collection features sunglasses and gear, inspired by the sharks and each purchase helps fund future OCEARCH expeditions.
You can catch a clip of Chris Fischer, OCEARCH founding chairman and expedition leader, on CBS This Morning speaking about their latest expeditions here.