Wednesday, 18 August 2010

stupid headlines

A West Australian surfer was killed the other day by a shark. The evidence and the experts suggest that the shark took a bite but then let him go. Tragically the bite also caused caused enough trauma to kill the fellow.

The press are now writing utter dribble about this such as:

with even more stupidity in the article:
A POD of seals is thought to have lured a massive shark towards Nicholas Edwards, a fly-in, fly-out mine worker enjoying an early-morning wave.

The shark was lured just minutes before he was attacked yesterday at one of Western Australia's best-known surf breaks

utter nonscence....

A shark is just a simple predator, it was hunting the seals by tracking their scent in the water. The seals (also predators) were either wandering around hunting fish or happen to be interested in the surfer and went out of interest to inspect him.
Its not like a merry melodys cartoon where the seals say "hey, look, there's a shark ... hey wanna play a game?" and then lure the shark to the surfer. If the seals knew there was a shark there they'd be out of the place fast.

Most probably some scent from the surfer (humans are mammals as are seals so there is likely to be some common smells) lured the shark to inspect the surfer.

Having done a bit of diving myself and growing up around the ocean I'd be curious to know if the scent they followed was from urine. Its a strong scent and even diluted significantly would be easy for a shark to follow. Its something only mammals produce too, as fish do not excrete the same stuff as mammals.

If you've ever put on a rental wet suite that someone pissed in you'll know how long the smell stays around for.

So, perhaps a good bit of advice to surfers in these areas may be to not piss in the water .... even if the fish do.


I noticed a little while ago that the Headline has changed although the URL has remained the same

I also noticed that there are plenty of comments the same as mine too, so it looks like this have hit home to the news paper.

ohh, and for the interested:
fish excrete ammonia
birds and reptiles excrete uric acid
mammals excrete urine which is a solution of Urea and other compounds such as Creatinine



Charles Maclauchlan said...

If I saw a shark while swimming I'm afraid I would be making mammal smells in the ocean...

obakesan said...

wouldn't we all!