Sharks Are Friendlier Than Dolphins
“Sharks are friendlier than dolphins” a traveling couple at a hostel in Cozumel, Mexico told me. They had just got back from swimming with sharks and dolphins in Belize. According to them, not only did the sharks not pose any type of threat, but they were friendlier than the dolphins. “The dolphins seemed kind of stuck up, they wouldn’t come close to us. The sharks would come right next to you. They were really cute.” Apparently you can swim and even hold sharks in some diving locations in Belize – and other parts of the world for that matter.
Surprising comments to say the least in the face of the ‘common knowledge’ belief that sharks are ferocious creatures that will hunt you down and eat you alive. This commonly held idea makes it possible for ‘dangerous stunts’ where people ‘dare nature’ by swimming with sharks, and for movies to rake in cash hyping up the danger that they pose. However, what is ‘common knowledge’ amongst the general populace is known to be outright false amongst any scuba diving aficionado. Scuba divers actively seek out locations to dive with sharks. Indeed, some of the best and most sought out dive locations on Earth are the ones that boast the possibility of shark encounters e.g. Cocos Islands off the coast of Costa Rica, where you can dive with HUNDREDS of sharks, is definitely on my bucket list. After watching this video, not only are you going to change your opinion about diving with sharks, but I think you’re going to want to join me on an adventure off the coast of Costa Rica! If so, just leave a comment below, and let’s make it happen! 😀
Here is a short video clip of a personal encounter with a shark:
In the video clip ^^^ above, taken at the dive site of San Francisco off the coast of Cozumel. Mexico, I have played the Jaws theme music and added some imagery and text to make a play on the commonly held belief that sharks are dangerous. However, in reality, there was no danger at all in the situation – or I wouldn’t have been filming it just a couple of feet away!. Sharks, when they can clearly make out that you are a human (i.e. not a sea lion), will not attack you, let alone hunt you down to eat you alive like in JAWS.
I’m sure the sharks are thinking something along these lines “so this is the thanks I get for playing the lead role in a 1975 American
corny classic horror film, huh? Thanks Spielberg. Assh*&@!”. Indeed, Spielberg was probably tripping out on the same hallucinogenic imagery of ferocious monster fiction that inspired Jurassic Park when he directed Jaws. Dinosaurs, LOL. As a matter of fact, divers are usually the ones chasing down the unsuspecting sharks in their daily life routines like the paparazzi trying to get a photo, and really all things considered, they are quite accommodating. I mean, how would an average celebrity react to you taking a photo of them while they are laying down and relaxing in their free time, escaping from the hustle and bustle of marine life? Probably not well...
You might be thinking to yourself that it depends on the type of shark. “There’s a big difference between a nurse shark (the one in the video), and a Great White. Surely, you wouldn’t be scuba diving with a Great White or a Bull shark” an Australian surfer once snickered at me. He was clearly wrong in regards to Bull sharks (who are considered to be the most ‘dangerous species of sharks’), a matter of fact here’s a link to a location where you can dive with them off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and here’s a link to a video of divers feeding Bull sharks some fish bait. For those who don’t know, Playa del Carmen is a partying spot neighboring Cancun. I’m sure that the intention of the Scuba companies is to lure tourists into a trap of death without worrying about liability issues nor the bloody mess that comes along with college students being devoured by extremely ferocious creatures (where is that emoticon for sarcasm when you need it?). However, in regards to Great Whites, it is difficult to pinpoint their location, and admittedly using a ton of dead fish to bait them your way (as is done with those cage diving) would probably NOT be a good idea. However, still in South Africa there are dive companies that actively do search out locations where spotting a Great White is possible. To illustrate my point that diving with them is safe, here is a photo of a blonde bomb touching a Great White off the coast of Hawaii. For more info click here. Speaking of that snickering Australian surfer, you might be asking yourself what about all of the surfers who get attacked and killed off the coast of Australia? Well, remember what I said, sharks do not attack if they know that you are human. When people are floating on top of the water wearing a wet suit, they can often be misinterpreted as a common food item on the typical shark menu (e.g. a sea lion). So…
So I wouldn’t recommend swimming on the surface next to a Great White in blood filled water (of dead bait fish for example) BUT, I mean, even ANDERSON COOPER (yes, the CNN correspondent) in this 60 minute video voluntarily did JUST THAT (watch from 9:40-12:00):
So the above clip shows that even when swimming in blood soaked water near the surface, if the sharks realize that you are human, they are not dangerous. I mean, do you really believe that Anderson Cooper thought that there would be a good chance of getting eaten alive by one of the sharks? I don’t think so. What I am saying is common knowledge amongst experienced scuba divers.
When sharks attack humans due to a case of mistaken identity, they will bite the victim and then usually leave after confirming that the victim was not in reality what they had originally thought. Unfortunately, some bites of sharks are so powerful that only one could be fatal. A sad case of mistaken identity. Out of hundreds of different shark species only a few have ever attacked humans, and those who have, did so out of mistake, not malice. So a bloodthirsty sea monster is NOT an accurate portrayal of our large finned friends. However, a human-friendly creature, who is prone to making mistakes, wouldn’t make the best villain of a blockbuster horror movie in Hollywood, now would he? I will end my argument – that sharks are friendlier than dolphins – by posing a question to seriously contemplate over. Although there are a handful of accidental attacks on humans by sharks each year, how many cases of shark rape do you hear about?
I mean, if a cute blonde chick and Anderson Cooper dived with Great Whites, what more do I really have to say?! After reviewing the facts concerning accidental shark attacks, dolphin rape caves, and Hollywood prejudice; there is only one conclusion to make. Sharks, my beloved readers, are friendlier than dolphins.