Saturday, July 11, 2009

News: Great Whites Are Like Serial Killers?

As if Great White Sharks weren't already awesome enough, researchers noticed trends in their hunting habits that are very similar to those of serial killers. Even though sharks hunt out of necessity (for food), unlike serial killers, and even though Great Whites are big and bulky, whereas serial killers are usually scrawny psychos, a lot of other things seem to match up.

Firstly, serial killers like to grab their victims in the same area (remember the Lopper in Seinfeld? He preferred Riverside Park) because it's familiar to them and easier to control . Great Whites also like to attack from the same anchor point and use known travelling routes. "For human killers, these would be things like subways, buses and freeways. For great whites, these would include channels, reef edges and other topographical features."

Next, Great Whites behave like pervs, lurking just out of reach in the shadows. The scientists found that when they locate their prey (seals), they stalk them from a distance. They study their habits and tendencies, and stay just far enough away to avoid arousing suspicion.

Finally, the coolest similarity is that Great Whites will avoid hunting in areas where the seal population is most dense, which seems counter-intuitive. Like killers and stalkers, Great Whites want to avoid attracting attention because seals can put up a strong fight. Much like victims calling out for help, seals can gang up on a shark and rip their eyes out or bite them with their bacteria-filled mouths. It's much better to strike the young ones when they are separated from the group. Hmmm, don't serial killers prefer young women?

If you don't already think sharks are cool, you better appreciate their sophisticated hunting techniques. Shark Week on Discovery Channel is less than a month away, so below is some Planet Earth goodness to feast on.

Great White Shark Video - Click here for more blooper videos

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