10 Incredible Sharks Every Diver Should See

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Article written by visitor blogger, Bridget Pearson.

Face it, there are sharks all over the world. From hammerheads to reef sharks, as a diver you're virtually sure to come across a shark at one time or one other. As a result of sharks have such a nasty fame, they're typically beneath appreciated.

It’s time to make a change: Expertise these majestic creatures of their native habitat, and permit your self to be captivated their delicate magnificence and fierce energy.


10. Nurse Shark

Nurse sharks are a great “starter shark”
Photograph by Ben

Cool and docile, nurse sharks are an amazing “starter shark” for many who are new to diving or apprehensive to shark diving. As a result of they're nocturnal creatures, they spend most of their time through the day resting, giving divers a singular take a look at these dozy fish. Typically, thirty or extra sharks will lounge collectively, a tangle of fins and gills. These introverted hunters spend most of their time close to the ocean flooring, prowling round for a fast snack within the sand. These sharks will eat coral or shellfish, however favor fish or squid.

Nurse sharks are quiet, seemingly laid again creatures, and appear fairly unconcerned with people. Nevertheless, they will develop to be intimidatingly giant, as much as 14 ft (four.three m). Their iconic tail might be as much as 1 / 4 of their complete size, and is a strong software to get them the place they should go. They like heat water, and spend their time without work the coasts of the western Atlantic and japanese Pacific, with some discovered off the western shores of Africa. The endangered gray nurse shark could be encountered whereas diving off Australia‘s coasts.

Although they are often casually noticed on any variety of dives, a number of the greatest nurse shark dives might be completed in Belize, off Ambergris Caye.


9. Reef Shark

Six Reef sharks closeup
Photograph by Alfonso González

One other nice shark for many who are new to shark diving is the sudden reef shark. There are a number of species of reef sharks, all of which cruise abundantly in waters around the globe. The 4 totally different kinds of reef sharks are Blacktip, Whitetip, Gray, and Caribbean. Reef sharks range in measurement by species: Whitetip reef sharks seldom develop bigger than 2.5 ft (1.6 m), but Caribbean reef sharks typically attain 9.eight ft (three m) lengthy.

Aptly named, reef sharks patrol coral reefs throughout the globe. Blacktips want to hug the shoreline of japanese Africa, southern Asia, and northern Australia. As soon as they select to reside in an space, they continue to be in the identical area for lengthy durations at a time, by no means straying removed from their residence base.

You'll be able to dive with whitetips virtually anyplace all through the Pacific, particularly in Southeast Asia. Often night time time hunters, yow will discover these sharks resting in shallow caves through the day.

Gray reef sharks are discovered scattered throughout the Indo-Pacific, and are quick, fearless hunters. Although they don't seem to be the most important sharks on the reef, due to their dominating manner they're shortly considered prime canine. They journey in giant teams through the day, then cut up up as night time falls to hunt.

Caribbean reef sharks could be noticed solely in Caribbean waters and down the japanese coast of South America. The Florida Keys supply some wonderful locations to dive with these agile creatures, in addition to down the Caribbean coast of Central America. Due to their measurement, they're an apex predator on the reef.


eight. Lemon Shark

Lemon shark swimming in sunlight
Photograph by Benjamin Jakabek

With a deep yellow again and pearly white abdomen, the lemon shark is aptly named. Rising as much as round 10 ft (three m) lengthy, lemon sharks reside in heat subtropical waters. Migratory creatures, they return to the identical websites yearly to breed or have their younger, and usually keep close to the coasts. Yow will discover lemon sharks on both aspect of Central America and Mexico, in addition to the Caribbean and japanese coast of South America. You possibly can even discover a substantial inhabitants alongside Africa’s western shoreline.


7. Bull Shark

A big bull shark
Photograph by Brook Ward

Bull sharks are sensible and adaptable creatures, and are accountable, sadly, for almost all of shark assaults. They reside alongside coastlines all over the world, discovered off each continent (besides, maybe, Antarctica). As a result of they will survive in each salt and recent water, you possibly can even encounter bull sharks in rivers and lakes all over the world.

Giant, muscular, and stocky, bull sharks are to not be trifled with. Feminine bull sharks outweigh their male counterparts, and casually attain 7.9 ft (2.four m) lengthy. There have even been reviews of sharks which are as much as 13 ft (four m). Due to their large measurement, bull sharks are heavy hitters, and may weigh over 600 lbs (300 kg). They've probably the most highly effective chew pressure of all fish.

Probably the most accessible locations to dive with bull sharks embrace Playa del Carmen, South Africa and Fiji.


6. Sevengill Shark

Sevengill sharks are also known as cow sharks
Photograph by Syn

Some of the mysterious shark species is the sevengill shark, additionally known as the “cow shark”. It's a newly found, comparatively unexplored shark, and far continues to be being discovered about its distinctive habits. This prehistoric creature lives in deep offshore waters, typically so far as 440 ft (130 m) deep. The sharks themselves are giant, reaching round 9 ft (2.9 m).

To date, they've been noticed off the coasts of South America, New Zealand, and Southern Australia, in addition to South Africa. There's a notably wonderful dive close to Cape Town that comes extremely beneficial.

You can too discover the sevengills within the deep waters off the shores of China and Japan. Most just lately, North America has gotten in on the motion, often recognizing the sharks in southern California.

You can be one of many first to rise up shut and private with this elusive creature. The sharks return to the San Diego and La Jolla kelp forests off the coast of California each spring, making for a really perfect spot for statement. Go to from March by means of April for the expertise of a lifetime.


5. Leopard Shark

A close up on the dark spots pattern of a leopard shark
Photograph by Jeffy Can

One other beautiful shark that may be noticed off La Jolla Shores is the leopard shark, a docile and dazzlingly coloured fish. Dusky brown, the leopard shark has a sample of daring darkish spots operating down the size of its physique. Along with dives in Southern California it's also possible to swim with leopard sharks whereas visiting Thailand, close to Phuket.

Notably keen on kelp beds, they camouflage properly with rocky or muddy bottoms. The sharks may even make their house within the shallows of estuaries and reefs. They transfer out and in with the tide, foraging for mollusks and shellfish. Leopard sharks are usually considered innocent to people, however have been overfished in previous years, resulting in a decline in inhabitants.


four. Tiger Shark

A massive tiger shark

Extremely giant and highly effective, tiger sharks simply attain 16 ft (5 m) and may weigh as much as 1,400 lb (635 kg). Tiger sharks are so named each due to their tell-tale stripes that fade with maturity, and due to their intimidating searching fashion, which makes fast work of their prey. Tiger sharks are stated to eat actually something that strikes, making them some of the harmful fish within the sea. Even dolphins and whales keep away from areas which are frequented by tiger sharks.

Tiger sharks keep near the shoreline, remaining in tropical and subtropical areas, the place there's sufficient meals to satiate these giant macro-predators. These tigers of the ocean migrate huge distances over the yr to stay in hotter waters.

You will discover locations in Florida to dive with tiger sharks, from the city of Jupiter all the best way right down to the Keys. Within the Bahamas you are able to do some cage free tiger shark encounters in the event you go to in the course of the spring months. There's even an entire beach named for these massive stalkers, making it straightforward so that you can occur upon a number of in your journey.


three. Hammerhead Shark

Close up of a hammerhead shark

Iconic hammerheads are a basic favourite. There are various locations the place you possibly can dive with hammerhead sharks, as you will discover them alongside coastlines everywhere in the world. There are ten recognized species of those odd fish, a number of of that are endangered or threatened species. These elusive and sleek sharks can typically be exhausting to seek out for divers, however there are specific places the place you'll find them in large faculties.

One such location is called the hammerhead triangle, a set of three islands the place you'll find a excessive focus of sharks. These islands are Malpelo Island in Colombia, Cocos Island in Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands. You can even dive with hammerheads in Hawaii, and all the best way off into the Caribbean: from the Bahamas to the Florida Keys.

Wherever there's an abundance of stingrays there's a good probability to seek out hammerheads. Stingrays are a deal with for hammerheads, and you'll steadily see the sharks gliding throughout the seafloor, in search of out the hiding rays.


2. Nice White Shark

Great white shark chasing fish
Photograph by George Probst

Maybe probably the most vilified shark of all is the good white shark, the large boss himself. Cage diving with a terrific white shark is a humbling expertise. Together with your adrenaline pumping continuous you possibly can watch the huge hunters glide by your cage, analyzing you with steely eyes.

There are solely a few locations on the earth the place you possibly can interact on this excessive octane experiences, probably the most well-known being Gansbaai, South Africa. Gansbaai is the good white shark capital of the globe. In an space referred to as “shark alley,” you possibly can see nice whites feeding on the native seal inhabitants. Through the sardine run, one in every of nature’s most awe inspiring migrations, nice whites flock right here of their a whole lot, making for fairly a present.

Three different wonderful nice white shark diving websites are Guadalupe Island, an island off the coast of Mexico, Port Lincoln in South Australia and Farallon Island, off San Francisco. Every shark encounter is totally different, so why not attempt all of them?


1. Whale Shark

Whale shark swims with manta rays
Photograph by Joseph Bylund

Diving with a whale shark is an unforgettable life occasion. Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish, by far. Solely from beneath the water are you able to respect their true measurement, subsequent to which you'll really feel fairly small and insignificant. The super creature is a filter feeder, and eats primarily plankton and different small sea creatures. No whale shark has ever killed a human being, and because the large, dappled fish glides previous you any nervousness you could really feel is totally changed with marvel and awe.

Whale sharks can develop as much as 40 ft (12 m), and weigh over 30 tons. Regardless of their measurement, comparatively little is understood about whale sharks. There are solely tough estimates as to the whole variety of whale sharks, their migration patterns, and on how greatest to strategy conservation. Although it may be tempting, as a diver do your part and don’t have contact with the whale shark. Not solely might disrupt them, however there's even a law against it in the Philippines.

Absolutely the best places to dive with whale sharks are Ningaloo Reef in Australia, and within the Gladden Spit in Belize. Whale sharks are discovered everywhere in the world, wherever the water is deep and heat. Whether or not you trek to Honduras or Mozambique, the Philippines, Thailand or Ecuador, there are ample alternatives to get an up shut take a look at these super creatures.


Sharks make for exhilarating diving buddies, one second casually gliding backward and forward, the subsequent minute dashing and jerking; on the scent of their prey. Whether or not your objective is to free dive with sharks otherwise you want the relative security of a cage, diving with sharks could also be fearsome, however it's undoubtedly rewarding.

There are round 400 species of sharks roaming the infinite blue, from gigantic whale sharks to tiny dwarf sharks. Make it your mission to dive with as many as you'll be able to, furthering each your information and respect for these majestic creatures.

Find a PADI dive shop and begin the AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course to study how one can take motion to guard these essential marine animals.

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