Friend or Foe? Here’s What You Don’t Know About Sharks

If someone asks you what the most terrifying species on the planet is, there’s a good chance that sharks will be the answer. Although there are plenty of shark attacks recorded each year, with 88 attacks recorded worldwide in 2017, not all sharks are aggressive. As you’ll learn, humans are a bigger threat to sharks than the other way around. And many of these threatened species need our help to survive. From the deadliest sharks to the totally non-threatening, here are all the shark facts you need to freak out your friends. The third shark species on this list is so laid back, they have trouble attracting their mate.

Whale Sharks Are the Teddy Bears of the Ocean

Getty Images
Getty Images

We often think of sharks as terrifying and deadly creatures, so the whale shark usually gets a bad rap. But are they any threat to humans at all? Not really. In fact, they’ll happily swim alongside divers who grab their fin and take photos.

Whale sharks are the largest sharks in the ocean, but as filter feeders, they’re just interested in snacking on small plankton and krill as they swim along. Without interference, they live between 70 and 100 years.