An indisputable truth is known among surfers: where dolphins swim, you will never see a shark. But for ocean lovers who feel comfortable next to dolphins swimming by, shark experts have some bad news.
“The statement that sharks don't swim where dolphins are is nothing more than a myth,” said Andrew Nozal, a shark expert at the University of San Diego.
And, moreover, this myth is very far from reality, according to the statement of Stephen Kajiura, an expert on sharks from Florida Atlantic University. “It's just the opposite,” says the scientist, “if you see dolphins, then sharks are likely to be nearby.” This is because these two predatory species often hunt in the same places.
The myth stems from the misconception that dolphins are natural enemies of sharks, and sharks do everything to avoid meeting them. There is a bit of truth in this statement - dolphins sometimes drive out sharks that are close to the pack if they feel threatened. From such collisions, the shark can swim away with quite serious beatings.
Kajiura explains that collisions of sharks and dolphins are the exception rather than the rule. Nevertheless, pop culture seized on the image of dolphins fighting sharks. Nozal said the popular Flipper series about two boys and their dolphins was especially guilty of perpetuating the myth that dolphins scare sharks. On the show, Flipper frantically chased sharks away from his beloved hosts. However, Flipper is not a model of typical dolphin behavior.
If you are worried that you can meet a shark on vacation, experts advise you to follow a few rules:
- Avoid swimming at sunrise and sunset, when visibility is lower;
- Do not swim in places where sharks are often found - underwater slopes and cliffs, near fishing boats, schools of fish and clusters of algae;
- do not swim alone;
- try to visit beaches with lifeguard attendants.
Most importantly, scientists say that vacationers should remember: although the likelihood of shark attacks is very small (in the US, sharks cause only 1 death per year), the ocean is still the territory of sharks.
“Swimmers should be smart about swimming in the ocean,” says Nozal. - “There is no such thing as“ filled with sharks of water. ” Sharks live in the ocean. This is their home".