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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Massive swarms of over 1,000 basking sharks spotted off the northeastern U.S. are puzzling scientists.

National Geographic reports that the shark swarms were noticed during aerial surveys to locate endangered North Atlantic Right Whales. Typically solitary creatures, the throngs of basking sharks have surprised experts.

Although fearsome looking, the basking sharks, which can grow up to 32 feet long, are not a threat to humans. Other varieties of sharks are another story.

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Today's Random Fact:

About two-thirds of shark attacks on humans have taken place in water less than six feet deep. Most shark attacks occur less than 100 feet from the shore. Shark attacks happen all over the world, but mainly around popular beaches in North America (especially Florida and Hawaii), Australia, and South Africa.

For every human killed by a shark, humans kill a million sharks.

Approximately 100 million sharks are killed every year. Shark teeth are used to make necklaces; cartilage is used to make fertilizers; skin is used to make leather; liver is used to make face cream, sap, and fuel; and fins are used to make soup. The mass killing of sharks creates a negative, cascading effect in the global environment.

Bonus Fact:

The 1975 movie Jaws fueled widespread fear and hatred of sharks, and the shark has been intensely hunted since. It is so endangered that many countries have taken steps to protect it. Ironically, the late Peter Benchley, the author of the book, supported shark conservation.