In today’s people many misconceptions have been perpetuated—becoming modern day “facts”—when, in reality, myths and also hearsay have taken over. I m really sorry to burst your bubble, but in this weekly column, Ripley’s put those delusions to the test, turning your people upside down, since you can’t always…Believe It!

Today: deserve to sharks odor blood indigenous a mile away? 

The scent of Blood

Even despite there’s simply a 1 in 3.7 million opportunity of being eliminated by a shark, world are so fearful of the predators the they’ve arisen myths around them—such as their ability to odor a tiny drop that blood from mile away.

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While sharks do have actually a strong sense the smell, this statement is mostly overblown. Part sharks have the right to identify blood a quarter-mile away, however the scent doesn’t with them instantaneously or necessarily reason them to attack.


Sharks have a heightened feeling of smell and also olfactory device that is hundreds of times more powerful than a human’s. Your nostrils, situated beneath their snouts, are offered only for smelling and also not because that breathing. Castle do have the volume to finding tiny amounts of assorted compounds in the water. Some species of sharks, such as the lemon shark, can even detect a odor in a huge swimming swimming pool or a substance the is number of hundred meters away.

But a shark more than a quarter-mile away won’t smell your blood and also decide to do you right into a yummy snack. Smells reach a shark through the currents, and it would certainly take time for the scent to take trip that street to a shark’s nostrils. The motion of the s carries odor molecules through it, so, the more motion, the quicker the smell will certainly travel.

If you execute start to bleed while swimming in the ocean, over there is some time to acquire safely to shore in instance a rogue shark decides to attack.


Sharks yes, really don’t like human being meat and generally aren’t interested in the bodily fluids civilization excrete. “You can smell a landfill, but it won’t make you want to eat it,” provided Dr. Steve Kajiura the Florida Atlantic University’s Shark Lab.

The lemon shark, because that example, deserve to detect a little drop the blood in the water. But they are particular about what they eat. They reap munching on bony fish, mollusks, and also crustaceans. Sometimes they will certainly eat a seabird or a little shark. People are not on the menu.


A lemon shark providing a diver a sniff.

Menstruating ladies can also relax. In ~ most, a woman will secrete 80 ml of blood (around 6 tablespoons) and not every at once. To peak it all off, according to nationwide Geographic, 93 percent the shark attacks roughly the world in between 1580 and also 2010 were on males.

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An typical of 10 people die a year in shark attacks, which space usually the result of failure identity. Some species of sharks whose diet is composed of sea lions and seals may bite a human being to watch what he or she tastes like. The test bite can be fatal due to the fact that a shark’s numerous teeth can reason uncontrollable bleeding.

By Noelle Talmon contributor for

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