People have been drawn to the sea and fascinated by the immense creatures that reside there for centuries. Stories like Herman Melville’s 1851 Moby Dick, about the search for a great white whale, Peter Gimbel’s Blue Water, White Death documentary recounting his shark expedition and Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic JAWS have captured the imagination of many.
In recent years it has been the shark, particularly the Great White shark and its infamous attacks on swimmers and surfers, which have commanded our attention. It is important to keep in mind however, that sharks kill less than 100 people each year – fewer than are killed by lightening or bee stings.
In addition, there are many species of sharks – about 368, and 30 families within these species, ranging in size from 7 inches to 50 feet long. Most sharks however, are between 5 and 7 feet in length, about the same size as most humans.
Experiencing Sharks in the Wild
There are several companies that provide exciting wildlife travel adventures for nature enthusiast. The three listed below take their clients to locations where they can experience sharks in the wild.
Natural Habitat Adventures is a company based in Boulder, Colorado which strives to take its guests to see “wildlife as it lives, wild and free.” Their Whale Sharks of Mexico - 6 Day tour costs between $2,795 and $3,490.
This expedition takes you to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to swim with the gentle migrating whale sharks – the largest of the sharks. This is an unforgettable experience in an incredibly beautiful setting.
Eco & Adventure Cancun based in Mexico – Cancun, Quintana Roo and was created by The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau to promote the wide variety of ecotourism available in Cancun.
Their Aquarium Dolphins Cancún Feed a Shark experience is a unique 30 minute adrenaline rush. This tourist attraction gets you closer than ever to the sharks. Participants enter the sharks’ environment by way of an acrylic cage, which is submerged into the water and surrounded by a variety of sharks. This is one experience you won’t soon forget and costs between $65 and $120.
Small Hope Bay Lodge based in the Bahamas – Fresh Creek, Andros Island and has been hosting scuba divers and nature enthusiasts alike since 1960. They provide lovely beach front accommodations and plenty of opportunities to experience the vast sea life living in the Andros Barrier Reef.
On their Shark Observation Experience divers and snorkelers alike can encounter sharks up close. Approximately a dozen sharks swim in for the frozen chum ball feeding. A seminar at the beginning or end of the feeding provides you with an opportunity to learn more about sharks.
Cost for the Shark Observation Experience is $85 per diver, and $45 per snorkeler
For those who are reluctant to be within such close proximity of a shark may prefer a cruise.
Adventuresmith Explorations provides just such an opportunity with their Galapagos - Small Ship Legend 11 day cruise. This trip costs between $3,310 and $4,910.
Sharks in the News:
Manta ray birth: a mystery solved
So you're a pregnant manta ray, and you're about to give birth to a baby with, oh, a six-foot wingspan. How on Earth will you manage that?
Now, for the first time, scientists can answer that question...
Marine lab finds fewer sharks
In eight hours, Mote Marine Laboratory scientists and interns aboard the Research Vessel Eugenie Clark caught four sharks in their quarterly shark survey: a 5.3-foot blacktip, 6.5-foot bull shark, a 7.5-foot nurse shark and a 12-foot great hammerhead, which brought the weekâ€™s total to 33.
Brush with hammerhead underwater rush
When the big fish turned on me and underwater videographer James Greene, its gaping mouth looked as big as the grill of an 18-wheeler â€” a very toothy and ticked off 18-wheeler...
Megalodon and Dennis Hopper to Star in Speed 3?
Bont is in preproduction on Meg, a monster flick which involves the Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70 foot, 40 ton prehistoric cousin of the great white shark.
Aquarium wonders: Where did baby shark come from?
He had been examining the shark, Tidbit, to figure out why she reacted badly to routine sedatives during a physical and died. Now there was a bigger mystery: How did Tidbit get pregnant?
"We must have had hanky-panky" in the shark tank, he thought.
Wall of Shark Videos:
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