Sharks and how they’re able to return home
There are a lot of mysteries surrounding our world. Scientists and researchers are always looking for ways (and fortunately discovering breakthroughs after breakthroughs) to explore space when 75% percent of our oceans’ depths remain untouched.
The ocean is indeed home to the deepest darkest mysteries. While it is very interesting to really roll into the depths of our oceans, I have one mystery that I want to share with you today. Don’t worry. I will not talk about anything that may involve you activating your claustrophobic tendencies. We will just remain safely touching the surface of our seas.
Ready? Okay, let me ask you this interesting question. Have you ever wondered how are dear sharks find its way home? Your guess is as good as mine.
However, a recent study may have somehow cracked this very curious conundrum.
According to an article published on the National Geographic website, a study has been conducted that somehow suggests sharks are able to locate its path to where home is through their powerful sense of smell.
The study was conducted near the pacific coast and involved capturing a number of leopard sharks. They were first captured and fitted with a tracker. Some of the sharks were then stuffed with cotton balls on their nostrils. After all the technical fittings were in place, the sharks were then released somewhat a little farther and deeper than their natural habitat. Those who didn’t have any cotton balls on their noses were able to go home following a straight path while the others looked loss and even swam slower compared to the others. This somehow gave the scientists an idea that the sharks’ sense of smell plays a huge role in sniffing their surroundings as well as aiding them in their journey home.
Although the study still needs to be verified through further experiments, some scientists are already saying that there is still something else that guides these sharks. According to the research, while the sharks with the cotton balls took a lot of time and were slowing in finding its home, they were still able to do so. Given that sharks are naturally smart (they are after all at the apex of the food pyramid), covering their noses does not necessarily stop them entirely from going home. They could still piece together information from their environment like water temperature, chemicals and molecules (honestly, the list may be unlimited, who knows what these creatures are capable of) that aid in their journey towards finding their habitat.
There is also an interesting fact that was discovered as a byproduct of this study.
The sharks fitted with the cotton balls did not show any signs of a toned down appetite. In layman’s terms, stuffing their noses with cotton balls does not really stop them from eating willingly. This study, although inconclusive as of the moment, shows a huge potential in helping us understand these amazing creatures. On a side note, if you see a shark with cotton balls on its nose, swim as fast as you can. Remember those don’t stop them from chomping you up. J