Misunderstood Animals: Sharks Edition

Leia Wilson, Dedicated Writer


Sharks are one of the most common animals that come to mind when you think of a scary animal. People overdramatize shark attacks that happen, which is what scares people the most about them. The movie Jaws has freaked a lot of people out, and I understand why. People think that shark attacks are common when they actually don’t hunt humans, they are important to the ecosystem, and sharks could hold cures for diseases. 

Shark Attacks aren’t Common

A lot of people think that shark attacks are common. However, only 82 people a year in the whole world die because of them. You are more likely to be struck by lightning than you are getting attacked by a shark. In fact, we are far deadlier to sharks than they are to us. About 100 million sharks die a year due to humans, which means that several species of sharks have gone extinct or are almost extinct. You really don’t have anything to worry about, as they don’t hunt humans. Whenever you hear a story about a shark attack, just remember that those aren’t too common. Sharks should actually be much more scared of us, as we are killing off many more of them than they are us. 


Sharks are important to the ecosystem and economy

Sharks are important to the ecosystem and the food chain because they can help remove the weak and sick prey. They also maintain the coral reef habitats and the seagrass. When people kill sharks, several animals in the ocean are constantly suffering, and in return, hurting the ecosystem even more. Sharks maintain the species lower than them on the food chain, which is vital for an ecosystem, and if we take sharks away from the ecosystem, it will likely collapse.


Sharks could hold the cures for diseases

Great white sharks have DNA that could help cure cancer in humans. Since sharks have been around for so long, they have had the ability to develop their DNA so that it can repair itself and become more tolerant to damage. Shark DNA is also 1.5 times bigger than human DNA. This means that sharks have things that they can do which we can’t do, so scientists want to use sharks’ DNA to solve human problems eventually. Sharks are able to recover from very serious injuries quickly. Scientists can use DNA from sharks that lets this happen as well. So, we should actually be grateful for sharks, as they are so important to us.  


Clearly, sharks are constantly benefiting us, and yet, we are still very afraid of sharks based on myths and things that we’ve heard from others. We need to stop thinking horrible things about sharks and hunting them as they are creatures as well. Sharks are really great creatures, and you should treat them with respect as you would with any other person that you know or don’t know. So, with all of this new knowledge, what do you think about sharks?

Did you enjoy reading this piece? Tune in next month to read about the next misunderstood animal. I won’t name the animal, but I will list three facts that could help you guess:

  1. There are 23 different species of this animal.
  1. When this creature is in a group, it is called a venue, kettle, committee, or volt.
  2. These creatures are one of the only animals who use tools.