Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Can Sharks Smell Blood from Miles Afar?

Can Sharks Smell Blood from Miles Afar?


The chances that one day you’ll become the
victim of a shark attack are miniscule, small, shall we say, teeny tiny. And still, there are dozens of frightening
myths surrounding these predators, even though most of them are misconceptions. What about the belief that sharks can smell
a drop of blood from miles away? Is it true? Well, I don’t want to keep you in suspense,
so I’ll tell you right away: this statement is seriously overblown. And while some shark species can identify
the smell of blood from a quarter of a mile away, it doesn’t reach them right away. Even more shocking, the smell won’t necessarily
provoke an attack. Although I’ve been told that my smell will. (Very funny, alright, who wrote that in my
script?) It’s true that sharks have a very developed
sense of smell that’s hundreds of times stronger than yours. Just like humans, they have nostrils, which
are situated beneath their snouts. But their nostrils are designed specifically
for smelling rather than breathing. So it’s probably no wonder that sharks can
detect tiny amounts of different substances in the water. But even though some sharks can decipher smells
better than others, no shark will be able to smell your blood in the water from farther
than a thousand ft away. Now, let’s imagine that you cut your foot
on a sharp stone while swimming in the ocean. First, the smell of your blood would have
to travel the distance to a shark’s nostrils. And how fast it goes will depend on the water
currents: the more active they are, the faster the smell will reach the predator. Then, the shark would have to decipher the
smell and find it alluring enough to react. And finally, it would need some time to reach
you. So, you can relax, you’ll have enough time
to get back to the safety of the beach, and get a band-aid for that cut. And maybe a Pina Colada. By the way, few people are aware that sharks
aren’t that interested in hunting humans. Most of them are very particular about their
diet. For example, the lemon shark, which can smell
a teeny drop of blood in the water from quite a distance, doesn’t have people on its menu
whatsoever. Mollusks and bony fish? Gladly. An occasional seabird or a smaller shark? Why not. A human? Eww, no thanks. By the way, have you ever seen a shark, in
the wild or in an aquarium? If so, write about your experience in the
comments below! Anyway, that’s only one of the many myths
that surround the deadly predator. Let’s debunk (or confirm) several more! – There’s a stereotype that sharks purposefully
hunt humans. But most shark attacks happen because these
predators mistake swimmers for their usual prey, like seals or sea lions. The other reason why a shark might attack
is its curious nature. This predator tends to bite things to figure
out if they’ll make a suitable meal. Just humans do at a buffet. – There’s an opinion that once a shark stops
swimming, its life will be over. However, this idea is only partially true. First of all, it’s important to understand
how sharks breathe. In fact, they can do it in two ways: buccal
pumping and ram ventilation. While using the first method, sharks pull
the water into their mouth with the help of their cheek muscles and then expel it through
their gills. And this method allows predators to lie on
the seafloor without movement. But if sharks use ram ventilation, they have
to keep moving so that the water moves over their gills. That’s why most people believe that without
constant swimming, sharks won’t get the oxygen necessary for life. But the catch is that only 20 or so shark
species out of more than 400 use ram ventilation alone. And it’s actually true that a few shark
species won’t be able to breathe if something prevents them from moving. But the rest of the predators use either both
breathing methods or the buccal pumping method, and can easily rest on the seafloor. – Have you ever heard of sharks jumping out
of the water and knocking someone off of a boat? If you believe this myth, you’ve probably
watched too many thriller movies! Some shark species, such as the great white
shark, are indeed capable of leaping more than 8 ft into the air to catch prey, for
example, seals and birds. But, unless you’re in South Africa, you’ll
have a hard time trying to find sharks jumping out of the water. – It’s been said, “If a shark is heading
toward you, hide among jellyfish.” Well, if you want to waste your time and hurt
yourself, go ahead. But the truth is that sharks have really thick
skin, and jellyfish stings will feel like nothing more than a tickle. Admittedly, these predators have quite vulnerable
eyes, but sharks can protect them by covering them with special membranes. You, on the other hand, will fall victim to
extremely painful, and often venomous jellyfish stings. So don’t be like Dory! Oops that was a spoiler. Sorry. – It’s another common misconception that all
sharks are predators. For instance, the ginormous (and thus, terrifying)
whale shark is, in fact, a friendly giant which has to filter plankton through its modified
gills to feed itself. And the bottom-dwelling nurse shark is a suction
feeder, whose diet includes mostly sea urchins, lobsters, and small stingrays. – It’s not a good idea to make the assumption
that if a shark hasn’t attacked anyone, there must be no sharks in this area. Sharks live in all the world’s oceans, both
in coastal waters and the deep sea. What’s more, some sharks can even be found
in lakes and rivers with fresh water! So, if you don’t see a shark, it might mean
that it’s just not interested. – If I ask you to describe a shark, you’ll
probably tell me about large, torpedo-shaped animals with several rows of mega sharp teeth. But in reality, sharks come in all sizes and
shapes. Among more than 400 species, there are both
tiny ones, like the 8-inch-long deepwater dogfish, and impressive giants, such as the
40-ft-long whale shark. The basking shark, for example, has tiny teeth
which don’t even participate in the process of feeding. And the horn shark has several teeth which
look like molars. The predator uses them to crush hard-shelled
prey. – Despite their reputation as merciless and
fearless monsters, you can stare a shark down or intimidate it. If you’re in the water, and there’s no way
to escape quickly, start screaming, show aggression, swim toward the shark, and make eye contact. The thing is that most victims of shark attacks
were hurt because they didn’t see the predator before it lunged. But once you notice a shark, the only thing
you should worry about is your reaction. Don’t panic, and try to stay calm. Or point out to the shark that other guy swimming
over there. He might take the hint. – Sharks hang out mostly close to the surface. If you hear this statement, you should remember
that it’s nothing but a misconception. It probably exists thanks to the stereotypical
image of a shark’s fin snaking through the water. Most sharks don’t often stay anywhere near
the surface; they prefer lurking in the depth where there’s more food. – There’s an opinion that sharks can’t bite
their prey until they turn on their side. But it’s not so: sharks can attack and bite
from any angle. Just like me. (Really c’mon guys, whose tampering with
the script? ) – If you hear someone saying that sharks live
for thousands of years, keep in mind that it’s also a myth. The average shark’s lifespan doesn’t usually
exceed 70 years. However, there is one exception. The Greenland shark has the longest lifespan
among all vertebrate species! This animal lives to be a staggering 300 to
500 years old! Scientists believe that the low temperatures
Greenland sharks live in, along with their great size, provide the animals with an extremely
slow metabolism. And this, in turn, makes them age more slowly. – Sharks do NOT have a tongue, despite what
some movies may show you. On the other hand, they have something that
looks similar to the human tongue, but this organ is called the basihyal. It’s just the front section of the cartilage
that goes from the shark’s chest to its mouth. Moreover, instead of participating in the
process of feeding, this organ is necessary to support part of its skeleton. – It’s a very common misconception (thanks,
movie-makers!) that sharks can swim backwards, for example, while backing out of a trap. In reality, it’s as far from the truth as
it can be. Sharks do NOT and can NOT swim in reverse. Their tails propel them, and their pectoral
fins help them to keep balance and turn. Thus, anatomically, the predators can’t move
in any other direction other than forward. Bottom Line: Take to heart the great advice
from sharks and: Keeping Moving Forward! Hey, if you learned something new today, then
give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other videos I think you’ll
enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!

100 comments on “Can Sharks Smell Blood from Miles Afar?

  1. (4:00) I would've really liked you to elaborate here. It's not that I think sharks are regularly knocking people off their boats by jumping – even if your next statement implies Great Whites have the ability to – but more importantly, you give no evidence, statistic or in any other fact explaining why this doesn't happen.

    After that, you finish the section by saying you'd have to go to South Africa to see a shark jump anyhow… again, with zero explanation. I get you try to keep these things brief, and maybe this was a myth you wanted to put to bed, but that's kind of hard to do without at least something to support it.

  2. I have been next to a shark in the wild at the Great Barrier Reef that shark was a black tip but I swear I was like 1 or 2 m away I am not scared of sharks so I swam with it for a bit it was fun and it seemed to like me because it would swim next to me making sure the other sharks would not get too close to me he was my best shark friend. I hope bright side reply because I never get reply’s sorry for wasting your time on this.

  3. Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool
    Sharks are cool

    Haha u think that im going to continues
    Nah im lazy baii

  4. Ok they said if you get a cut you have enough time to get out of the water. Well what about if you have your period? I’ve never gone in the ocean with my period and I guess it’s staying that way.

  5. I keep seeing them all the time, I am a scuba Diver, they even don't look at me! Just like any other fish but they look soooo beautiful!

  6. Umm bright side I love your vids but I’m really smart and iv seen all your videos but could you make content that I don’t actually don’t know like why the heck is the sky blue?

  7. TIMESTAMPS:
    What if you cut your foot while swimming in the ocean 1:19
    Do sharks hunt humans? 1:55
    How sharks breathe 2:56
    Can sharks jump out of the water? 3:57
    Does it make sense to hide among jellyfish? 4:25
    Are all sharks predators? 4:57
    Can they live in fresh water? 5:20
    How you can intimidate a shark 6:19
    The average shark's lifespan 7:29
    Do sharks swim in reverse? 8:27

  8. Thanks Bright Side! I receive a lot of value from your videos!
    Maybe you could make a video about slowing down our metabolism too, like some sharks do and live longer !

  9. I went snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef and when I got out of the water I realised that we were swimming right next to sharks the whole time, I definitely didn’t freak out.

  10. Bright side: now if I asked y to describe a shark

    me : Big Boi Bite Bite Fish

    Bright side : talks about how we would describe it

    me : ye no I would not say it like that . I'd say BBBB Fish , Big boi bite bite fish

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