10 Cutest Sharks (One is as Big as a School Bus!)

Written by Taiwo Victor
Published: June 12, 2022
Image Credit weera bunnak/Shutterstock.com
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The term “cute” certainly wouldn’t be the first to pop up when we think about sharks. Yes, there are kittens, puppies, rabbits, and even piglets. But what about sharks? Not at all. At least not in the sense we think of cuteness in other animals. Sharks have a reputation for being aggressive, ferocious, and frightening, thanks to the entertainment industry’s stories and portrayal. However, while the term “sharks” immediately conjures terrifying images of sharp, meat-tearing teeth and blood-stained gums, some shark species are quite cute and friendly.

It may be a little hard to believe, considering the pictures of sharks we often see are massive great white sharks. But the ocean is a vast realm of an endless haven for diverse marine species, and somewhere out there, sharks that are cute and friendly enough to be human friends wander underneath the waters. Below, we will list the 10 cutest shark species, where they are found, and other interesting facts.

10 Cutest Sharks

Bamboo Shark

White Spotted Bamboo Shark
The bamboo shark is also known as the cat shark.

iStock.com/Josephine Julian

Because of the bamboo shark’s small size and bi-colored body, it ranks among the cutest sharks at sea. The bamboo shark, also known as the cat shark, is a lovely carpet shark that is a popular aquarium pet due to its modest size of approximately 41 inches. Once an aquarium has been set up for them, they are relatively simple to keep. The brown-banded bamboo shark has a 25-year life expectancy, making it an excellent human companion. The coastal waters of Southeast Asia and the Australian continent are home to bamboo sharks. They are excellent hunters, although they have never attacked humans. Bamboo sharks are so calm that divers have been known to stroke and pet them. Because bamboo sharks are so docile, they are sometimes utilized in “touch tanks” at public aquariums so that visitors may learn more about them and other aquatic life.

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Zebra Shark

Zebra sharks have brown and white bands similar to those of zebras.

jon hanson / Creative Commons

The zebra shark isn’t the quickest or smartest shark in the world, but it’s certainly one of the cutest. Its mouth and nostrils resemble a cute face when you look at it from below, giving the zebra shark an animated look. Zebra sharks have brown and white bands similar to those of their namesake. These creatures may be spotted off the coast of the Philippines, and the Indo-Pacific zone and are known for the spots on their backs. Like the leopard shark, they prefer to repose on sandy flats near coral reefs and are nocturnal, which means they eat sea snakes and small fish at night.

Humans are not threatened by zebra sharks because they are docile and slow-moving and can be approached safely underwater. However, divers who tug on their tails or try to ride them have been bitten.

Whale Shark

Biggest Fish in the World: Whale Shark
Whale sharks are among the friendliest shark species.

Rich Carey/Shutterstock.com

The whale shark may not be exactly cute, considering its size that compares to a school bus. But if you ignore the fact that it’s the world’s biggest shark, reaching lengths of more or less 40 feet, and concentrate on its broad, flat head, slightly curved muzzle, and long, narrow mouth (until it’s opened!), the whale shark can win your heart and throw you in that “Awww” mood.

Whale sharks are among the friendliest shark species, if not the friendliest. They have been known for giving divers trips on their backs, and baby whale sharks are known to interact with humans. These colossal fish can be seen swimming in tropical waters off the shores of Western Australia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Belize, the Indo-Pacific, and Mozambique. In the Philippines, swimming with whale sharks is a fun activity option, where people can pet and play with them underwater.

Since whale sharks do not have sharp teeth like other species, they pose no harm to humans despite their gigantic bodies. Gentle giants, specifically. These sharks are “filter feeders,” feeding mostly on plankton.

Blue Shark

Though not aggressive, blue sharks are one of the fastest fish and sometimes referred to as the "wolves of the sea," perhaps because they travel at such high speeds.
The azure blue skin of blue sharks is widely regarded as the most attractive of all shark species.

Martin Prochazkacz/Shutterstock.com

The blue shark, commonly known as the big blue shark, is a requiem shark found in deep seas throughout the world’s tropical and temperate oceans. They may move rapidly despite their general sluggishness. Blue sharks can grow up to 10 feet, but they can also be much longer. The blue shark’s large black eyes and pouty mouth, which resemble those of a surprised child, make it so endearing. Its back is dark blue, the sides are bright blue, and the underside is white. If the shark is taken out of the water, its color quickly fades to a consistent dark gray. Although blue sharks are large, their long bodies are sleek and tapered, and their azure blue skin is widely regarded as the most attractive of all shark species.

Hammerhead Shark

What Do Hammerhead Sharks Eat - A Hammerhead Up Close
Hammerhead sharks can grow up to 20 feet long.

Martin Voeller/Shutterstock.com

Although one of the strangest looking, we cannot deny that the hammerhead shark is also one of the cutest among all sharks. Hammerhead sharks are adorable creatures with incredibly far-apart eyes located on either end of their mallet-shaped head and provide them with a great view of the surrounding seas and approaching prey. Although they are considered aggressive, they rarely attack humans, and their exceptionally tall and pointed dorsal fin makes them easy to spot.

Hammerhead sharks can reach 20 feet and prefer to live in tropical temperatures. These sharks can swim along the world’s coastlines in temperate and tropical waters. Stingrays are their favorite food, and they can easily find prey hiding under the sand.

Greenland Shark

The World's Oldest Greenland Shark
Greenland sharks can live for at least 250 years.

Dotted Yeti/Shutterstock.com

Despite being one of the ocean’s largest predators, reaching 24 feet long, Greenland sharks have never been known to attack humans. With a little mouth buried well beneath its nose that seems like it’s continually smiling, the Greenland shark boasts the look of a foolish, galumphing giant. These are the world’s farthest north sharks, found in Greenland, Iceland, the North Atlantic, and the Arctic waters. Greenland sharks spend a lot of time in the dark, scavenging for carcasses on the seafloor with their keen sense of smell. They live as deep as 2,400 feet below the ocean’s surface in the summer, where the water is chilly enough for them.

Greenland sharks are the slowest shark species, leading scientists to believe that their slowness contributes to their long lifespan. Greenland sharks have the longest lives of any shark or marine vertebrate, ranging from 250 to 500 years.

Angel Shark

Types of Shark - Angel Shark

LuisMiguelEstevez/Shutterstock.com

Angel sharks are a type of bottom-dweller shark found along the coasts of every continent, hunting just beneath the sand’s surface. This shark species even sounds pleasant solely by its name! Their flat body and the fact that they move parallel to the ocean floor give them the appearance of manta rays, but they are sharks with powerful jaws and sharp teeth. Angel sharks and manta rays are both stunning and cute. Sadly though, angel sharks are classified as severely endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which means they are on the verge of extinction.

Bigeye Thresher Shark

The bigeye thresher’s huge eyes specialize in hunting in low light circumstances.

FtLaud/Shutterstock.com

The bigeye thresher is a type of thresher shark that can be found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide. The enormous eyes (4 inches wide) of this shark migrate upward in their sockets, which give them an adorable look. The bigeye thresher’s huge eyes specialize in hunting in low light circumstances. These 12-foot-long sharks are commonly seen in tropical oceans like Venezuela and Brazil. However, they have also been observed off the coasts of Cuba and Florida. These sharks are on the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) list because sports fishers target them off the coasts of South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States.

Leopard Shark

Leopard shark
Leopard sharks are harmless and small, measuring only 5 feet in length.

evantravels/Shutterstock.com

The leopard shark is one of the friendliest shark species in the sea, and it can be found off the coast of California. They get their name from the dotted pattern, and they are often mistaken for zebra sharks because of their somehow similar patterns. However, like zebra sharks, they have nostrils just above their eyes, giving them an animated Disney-like look when looking at them from underneath.

They are harmless and small, measuring only 5 feet in length, making them even cuter and less frightening than others. Hundreds of them have been sighted swimming around the Pacific coast, as far north as Oregon and south as Mexico. They prefer sandy, muddy flats and swim quite near to the ocean’s bottom, where they seek food. They come active at night, so if you’re ever wading in the La Jolla cove during the day, you’re more likely to see them lying completely still!

 Dwarf Lantern Shark

Smallest sharks – dwarf lanternshark
Dwarf lantern sharks reach only 7 inches when fully grown.

By Javontaevious – Took a photographPreviously published: Javontae [email protected] Facebook, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37516033 – License

The dwarf lantern shark has photophores. These are light-emitting organs that glow up to help the shark mix in with the bright water when it’s foraging for meals in shallow waters and lure prey when it’s in deeper, dimmer waters. The dwarf lantern shark’s cuteness stems from the fact that it’s super tiny compared to most sharks that sport terrifyingly large bodies. These cute sharks reach only 7 inches when fully grown, making them small enough to fit in your hand. Dwarf lantern sharks reside in deep water, from 928 and 1,440 feet below the surface.

Biggest Shark: Whale Shark
A whale shark swimming near an underwater reef. Each whale shark has its own unique pattern of spots, much like human fingerprints.
weera bunnak/Shutterstock.com
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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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