Have you ever wondered about all the different types of sharks that swim in our oceans? Some sharks are small and harmless, but others can be massive, with rows and rows of razor-sharp teeth!
Just hearing the names of some sharks is enough to send a shiver down your spine. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 10 of the scariest sharks found in oceans all around the world. Get ready to meet some seriously freaky fish!
Great White Shark
First up is probably the most infamous and feared shark of them all – the great white! These behemoths can reach over 20 feet and weigh up to 5,000 pounds. When you see that huge triangular fin cutting through the water’s surface, you know it’s time to get out of the ocean ASAP!
Great whites are found in cool waters all around the world. They have hundreds of serrated teeth arranged in rows perfect for ripping into flesh. When they bite down hard, those teeth chew through bones like crackers!
One of the scariest things about great whites is how fast they can swim. At top speed, they can zoom through the water at over 15 miles per hour. With such speed, there’s little chance for prey to get away once the great white sets its sight on them.
Swimming along with an oddly-shaped mallet for a head, hammerhead sharks are one of the more bizarre-looking ocean creatures out there. There are actually several species of hammerhead sharks, but they all have that unique flattened hammer or shovel-shaped head that they use to hunt down prey.
Some types of hammerheads can grow to be 20 feet long – almost as big as great whites! They use their weird head shape to enhance their underwater vision and sense of smell. The positioning of their eyes gives them a 360-degree view around them. No one can sneak up on a hammerhead!
Hammerheads have also evolved their head into a supremely powerful weapon. They can swing it back and forth to deliver devastating blows to seals, fish, and other prey. Ouch – I definitely wouldn’t want to be whacked by one of those!
While they aren’t considered quite as dangerous as great whites, hammerhead sharks have been known to attack humans that get too close.
Moving on from the sharks with teeth, let’s check out a filter feeder known as the whale shark. Despite its name and mammoth size, the whale shark only eats tiny plankton and is perfectly harmless to people.
Growing up to a staggering 41 feet long, the whale shark is actually the largest fish species in the entire world. Their huge mouths can measure over 3 feet across! But they aren’t going to use that massive maw to bite you in half.
Whale sharks gently suck in water through their mouths and filter out plankton or fish eggs floating in the water. They even have special sieves inside their throats to strain the food out. No teeth needed!
While whale sharks won’t chomp on you, their massive bulk alone could still cause damage simply by accidentally bumping into you.
Looking like a smaller cousin of the whale shark is the basking shark. It’s the second largest fish species and can reach lengths over 30 feet.
Basking sharks are also filter feeders, using their huge mouths to suck down plankton and fish eggs. Their teeth are just little nubbins and useless for biting, so basking sharks are harmless to people.
They earned their name because people often see them lazily cruising just below the water’s surface, feeding passively on plankton.
Boasting one of the most bizarre faces in the ocean, the goblin shark is a rare deep-sea species. Their long snout and needle-like teeth give them a truly freaky appearance.
Goblin sharks have a crazy trick in which their jaws can rapidly snap forward to snag prey, almost like spring-loaded! This helps them grab unsuspecting fish from the darkness of the deep sea.
Reaching lengths over 10 feet, goblin sharks are powerful hunters with slashing teeth that could do major damage. However, they rarely come into contact with humans since they only dwell in the dark abyssal waters far below the surface.
Moving closer to shore, bull sharks are a dangerous species found worldwide in coastal tropical waters. They are aggressive hunters known for stalking prey in shallow bays, harbours, and river mouths.
Bull sharks can survive much longer in freshwater rivers and lakes than other sharks. This gives them lots more opportunities to bump into humans taking a dip!
Bull sharks are stocky and powerful at 7-11 feet long. Like most shark bites, bull shark attacks are usually a case of mistaken identity. They may think your hand or foot is a fish or sea turtle.
However, bull sharks also have more testosterone than other sharks, making them extra aggressive. So it’s a case of both nature and nurture!
Of all shark species, bull sharks are among the most likely to attack humans.
Looking like something out of a nightmare, the frilled shark deserves a place among the scariest sharks out there. This deep-sea dweller is rarely seen but can be found across the world’s oceans.
The frilled shark’s creepiest attribute is its massive mouth packed with 300 long, pointy teeth aligned in rows. Its jaws take up nearly half the length of its whole body – yikes!
Those needle-like chompers combined with its snakelike body make the frilled shark seem totally prehistoric. And that’s not far from the truth – it’s actually survived with few evolutionary changes for over 80 million years!
Frilled sharks don’t threaten humans since they live thousands of feet down. But if we could venture that deep, coming face to face with one would be utterly horrifying!
Oceanic Whitetip Shark
Known for its long, rounded, white-tipped fins, the oceanic whitetip shark is another open-water species found across tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.
Growing up to 10 feet long, oceanic whitetip sharks are aggressive hunters who will eat pretty much anything they come across. Their diet ranges from fish and squid to seabirds and even garbage dumped from ships. They are not very picky eaters!
These opportunistic sharks were once extremely common and routinely followed ships, feeding on scraps thrown overboard. Many historians believe oceanic whitetips were responsible for most shipwreck survivors who were lost at sea. Yikes!
Due to overfishing, their populations have crashed in recent decades so run-ins are less common. But for much of history, oceanic whitetips were considered one of the most dangerous sharks to encounter drifting at sea.
Shortfin Mako Shark
The shortfin mako is among the fastest and most active of all sharks. They rival great whites in terms of speed, capable of hitting speeds over 20 miles per hour in quick bursts. Their torpedo-shaped bodies and powerful tails make them built for blazing speed.
Shortfin makos can be found in offshore waters across the globe, migrating thousands of miles every year. They feed on fish, squid, other sharks, and marine mammals.
Unlike great whites, which strike from below, makos will leap fully out of the water in pursuit of prey! Seeing one launch itself several feet into the air is a shock, especially when you’re on a small boat.
Weighing up to around 1,000 pounds, shortfin makos are very athletic and potentially hazardous sharks to be around.
Last up is the tiger shark – an apex predator named for its striped appearance. Growing up to 18 feet long, the tiger shark has an extremely varied diet and will eat just about anything it finds. Their name comes from the dark vertical stripes along their bodies, which resemble a tiger’s pattern.
Tiger sharks have an unmatched appetite and will feast on fish, seals, birds, smaller sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and almost any animal they can get their jaws around. They are true eating machines.
But that broad palate also includes non-living items too. Tiger sharks have been found with license plates, tires, and even clothing in their stomachs!
While shark attacks are always rare, tiger sharks are believed to be responsible for more deadly bites than any other species. Their indiscriminate eating habits bring them into contact with humans more frequently.