As Iâ€™m sure most of you know, it is the most anticipated week of the yearâ€¦ Shark Week! The whole world tunes their TVâ€™s in to Discovery Channel in earnest to see what shark filled shows are in store for them on todayâ€™s line-up. Well, as the world learns about the prehistoric Megladon, or watches intriguing shows like â€œVoodoo Sharks,â€ we wanted to get in on the action, but give it an Exito twist.
Why You Should Not Be Afraid Of Sharks:
We know sharks, can be scary, and intimidating, but the news tends to inflate shark attacks to make them into insane beasts of terror. Really, theyâ€™re not so bad, so we want to start all of this out to show you why you shouldn’t be afraid of them.
- Lightning kills 10,000 people annually
- Hippos kill 2,900 people annually
- Shopping on Black Friday kills 550 people annually
- Falling out of bed kills 450 people annually in the United States
- Falling coconuts kill 150 people annually
- Icicles kill 100 people annually in Russia
- Cows kill 22 people annually in the United States
- Vending machines kill 13 people annually
And what about sharks?
- Sharks kill only 5 people annually, and less than 1 person each year in the United States
So, as this shows, youâ€™re plenty safe in the water with sharks. The media hasnâ€™t made a story out of every hippo or cow fatality, but we do hear about one from a shark. Remember that the next time youâ€™re at the beach, and instead of steering clear of the water, maybe steer clear of the palm tree instead.
Why Sharks Are Awesome:
- There are an estimated 350 known species of sharks, the largest being the whale shark which can grow up to 12m (40 ft), and the smallest being the dwarf shark that matures at a length of 150mm (6 in).
- Most sharks are incapable of causing harm to humans. About 80% of all shark species grow to less than 1.6m (5 ft) and canâ€™t hurt people or rarely encounter them.
- Sharks live in every ocean, and in all parts of the ocean, from shallow to very deep water.
- A shark may grow and use over 20,000 in its life. Behind the first set of teeth in the front, are many rows developing. As the next row moves forward, a full set replaces the damaged, older set. They can never run out of teeth.
- Sharks are ten times more sensitive to light than humans.
- Sharks have two unique senses â€“ the Lateralis System, which detects vibration, and the Ampullae of Lorenzini, which is a sensory organ to detect weak electric fields. Since every living things produces an electrical fields, this allows sharks to sense that something is alive in the water before it sees or smells it.
- Sharks are very important to maintaining the balance of nature in all waters. They eat weak, diseased, and dead fish, and other sea creatures, which helps keep the strongest living and able to reproduce. Without sharks, these other species could become extinct and ecosystems could be destroyed.
There are so many more reasons, but this list at least gets you started.
How You Can See Sharks With Exito:
Now that you arenâ€™t scared of sharks anymore, and you agree that theyâ€™re awesome, we know youâ€™re dying to go see them in person. Well, lucky for you, there are tons of places that Exito travels to that are prime diving locations for sharks. Central and South America have some exceptional diving spots. We also have started increasing our market into Africa, and South Africa is the prime shark diving capital for Great Whites.
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
An abundance of marine life that is equaled by few across the world is found here at these islands where several oceanic currents meet. Among this abundance of marine life is a large presence of sharks, which you can encounter year round. The underwater world in the Galapagos is considered to be one of the best dive locations in the world. The Galapagos Islands are also recognized as one of the worldâ€™s best locations to encounter whale sharks in large numbers. Whale sharks are not the only sharks you will find here. Around the northern islands you will find large groups of hammerheads. Around other islands you could find Galapagos sharks, horn sharks, and white tip sharks, just to name a few. With this entire area being a protected marine reserve, it is an ideal territory for all marine life to thrive, and therefore you to dive.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the Americas, and in fact, is the second largest in the world just behind the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. It stretches from Cancun to Honduras for 900km (560 mi). Within this reef you will find a plethora of spectacular dive locations. In the Belize waters there are dive sites inside and outside the reef that will entice you, as well as the standout site known as Shark-Ray Alley, which guarantees close encounters with schools of large stingrays and nurse sharks. Traveling further south along the reef, into the waters of Honduras, there are plenty more opportunities for shark encounters. Whale sharks are commonly encountered in the Bay Islands of Utilaâ€™s waters. If you find yourself off the Islands of Roatan, however, fear not, because this is a much better place for encounters with large Caribbean reef sharks at the aptly named Cara a Cara (Face to Face).
Although Great White sharks can be found in almost any body of water (as long as the temperature is between 54 and 75Âº F), the Great White capital of the world is in South Africa. Dyer Island, South Africa, is that place â€“ The Great White Shark diving capital of the world â€“ because it has one of the densest Great White populations of the world, and thus almost all Great White shark research is done there. Cage diving with the Great White is a relatively new adventure sport in South Africa (and a few other places around the world), and while it may seem dangerous, it is safe, and offers you a completely once in a lifetime experience, incomparable to anything else.
There are many other places that we travel to that are great for seeing sharks. Brazil, with its vast stretch of beaches and waters, has many great dive spots. Costa Rica, while only .03% of the surface of the planet has approximately 6% of the worldâ€™s biodiversity, much of that being underwater. This makes it a superb spot for seeing all sorts of sharks, including the whale shark, white-tip reef shark, and bull shark, just to name a few. Some sharks have been spotted in Nicaraguaâ€™s Lake Nicaragua. Venezuela and Argentina have great dive locations as well. Mexico is included in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system, but has plenty more to offer. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Go to our destinations page to see where else in Latin America we travel, and call one of our flight specialists today to book your Shark Week vacation!