Can sharks smell blood a kilometer away? (4 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
16 May 2024

We were convinced that sharks sense blood in microscopic concentrations from a kilometer away. Former NASA engineer Mark Robert decided to test this theory.

Remember how the shark in Finding Nemo lost his temper after smelling a drop of Dory's blood? Many accepted these images as truth.

Together with marine biologist and dive expert Luke Tipple, Robert traveled to a shark-infested area 32 km off the coast of the Bahamas.

44-year-old Mark told the audience that he had developed a reliable testing system and assembled NASA-worthy equipment for the experiment.

He explained: "I wanted to test how far a shark could smell one drop of blood, but first I had to prove that they actually prefer blood to other odors."

To do this, he installed four surfboards, each of which poured two liters of various liquids into the ocean in an hour - fish oil, cow blood, sea water and urine.

“Each board has a waterproof case that stores a battery, a board and two Arduinos microcomputers,” said the inventor, demonstrating the device. “I have a remote control, and as soon as I press the button, the pumps start pumping water simultaneously.”

The first ten minutes passed calmly.

"It's very interesting. If you have a big wound, you're bleeding, and there are sharks within 50 yards of you, they're like, 'Screw it.' You think one drop of blood and they'll be right there." but that’s not the case yet,” Mark commented.

As a result, four sharks swam to the fish oil, none of them were interested in seawater or urine, but the board with blood attracted 41 sharks.

However, the real question was how much blood would interest the shark. And during the first experiment, cow's blood was used. What about human?

For the second experiment, the researchers themselves became donors. Four bags of blood were attached to two boards in the same way as the first time, and a control board with sea water was placed in the center.

“Blood will drip from the board on the left at a rate of one drop per minute, and from the board on the right - quickly, on average, one drop every four seconds,” the man explained.

And in an hour not a single shark swam to the boards!

"It's safe to say that unless sharks swam at 15 drops of human blood per minute in the middle of shark-infested waters, you'll be fine as long as you have a minor wound," the blogger concluded.

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