- Sharks have a number of keen senses that provide them with a lot of information about the environment.
- Despite their size, they are very good at picking up vibrations in the water particularly those made by struggling fish although sometimes, divers emit similar vibrations.
- The diver in this clip, where visibility is poor, gets the fright of his life when this shark appears out of nowhere.
This swimmer is not the only one looking for fish in the murky seawater. In this startling clip, we join a diver with a spear gun but the visibility is very poor. It’s hard to see how he is going to find anything to spear! But in the end, it is a great white shark that finds him. The huge animal emerges suddenly from the gloom and gives us all a huge fright – obviously, the swimmer gets the biggest fright of all. He quickly exits the water by clambering onto the nearby boat and alerts his friend who is not too far away.
How Do Great White Sharks Detect Things in the Water?
It is possible that the shark simply stumbled across the human and got as big a shock as he did. However, it is also possible that the shark detected that he was there and came over to check out what was going on. Sharks have a number of keen senses that provide them with a lot of information about the environment. The first of these is sight. Sharks can see ten times better than we can in the dark. This is thanks to a layer of special cells behind their retina called the ‘tapetum lucidum’. However, as visibility was so poor on this occasion, the shark is unlikely to be relying on sight alone.
Sharks also have an excellent sense of hearing and sound travels faster underwater than it does in air. They have tiny ears that are located just behind their eyes – they look like two small holes. Despite their size, they are very good at picking up vibrations in the water particularly those made by struggling fish. Sometimes, divers emit similar vibrations. Add these to an excellent sense of taste, smell and touch and it’s easy to see how not much can escape a shark’s attention in the water.
Sharks Have Extra Senses
Sharks have some senses that we do not have. One is called electroreception. The sense organs for this are lots of small pores covering the shark’s snout called ‘ampullae of Lorenzini’. Inside are hair cells and a jelly. These are able to detect tiny electrical currents so that their brain can construct an ‘electrical map’ of the environment. All in all, this shark was far more aware of what was going on in the water than the diver was.
Watch the Startling Footage Below
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