Shark Fun Facts

Shark Fun Facts

  • Sharks kill an average of four humans per year. Humans kill well over 100 million sharks each year.
  • Sharks never run out of teeth. They have new ones on a “conveyor belt,” at the ready to move up and replace any that become lost during feeding. Some sharks can produce over 20,000 teeth in their lifetimes.
  • The largest known shark in the world is the whale shark, at up to 40 feet long. It feeds only on tiny plankton.
  • The smallest living sharks in the world are the dwarf lanternfish and the spined pygmy shark. Both are no more than 8 inches long.
  • Although they have a reputation for being big and scary, most sharks never grow bigger than five feet long.
  • The fastest shark is the mako, reaching speeds of up to 30mph. These sharks can also leap 20 feet out of the water!
  • Some sharks can live in fresh water, at least for short amounts of time. Bull sharks, for example, have been found in the Mississippi and Amazon Rivers, and in Lake Nicaragua.
  • Sharks have no bones in their bodies. Their skeletons are made of cartilage. You have cartilage in your joints, your ears, and the tip of your nose.
  • There are approximately 500 known species of sharks in the world; 63% of those are listed as near-threatened or worse.
  • Most sharks are crepuscular, meaning they are active at dawn and dusk. Staying out of the water during those times is a good way to prevent shark encounters.
  • Sharks can detect very tiny amounts of scent from a great distance (up to 1300 feet or 400 meters). They can even tell which nostril (or nare) is smelling the scent more strongly, which helps them home in on the source.

Come learn about the wild sharks that live right here in Puget Sound. Enjoy shark-a-rific activities Monday, August 6–Friday, August 10 and performances by the award winning Sisbro team on Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12.

Share this:

Subscribe to the Seattle Aquarium Blog

Get news and updates from the blog delivered to your inbox