Great White sharks may be one of the most feared predators on earth. Movies like JAWS amped up the man-eater legend and many people are fearful of an encounter with a Great White.
After years of research Scientists, no longer believe that Great Whites attack because they believe humans are seals. It is more likely they do not recognize humans and are biting because they are curious and investigative animals. They use their sharp, flexible teeth like a human might use their hands to test what an object is.
One interesting fact is Great Whites are sharp-sighted. They can see as well below the water as humans can above and surprisingly they see in color! They often attack brightly colored buoys, paddleboards and other man-made objects they see floating in the water.
And why do Great Whites not enjoy eating humans? We are too bony! They have extremely slow digestive tracts, if they eat something with lots of bones it can slow down their stomach for days and make it impossible to eat anything else. They prefer fatty animals like seals, which provide twice as many calories due to their high fat content. A diet high in fat is necessary for a Great White to keep its body temperature just right. This allows the shark to keep its brain warm in the icy waters it often swims in!
While it is still important for humans to avoid interactions with these massive sharks and always stay alert in the ocean it helps to educate yourself on why Great Whites attacks and learn to respect these majestic creatures instead of fear them.