This week the Discovery Channel holds its annual celebration of all matters shark-related. Without a doubt, sharks are fascinating: two-thirds of their brains are devoted to their sense of smell; they grow up to 50,000 teeth in a lifetime; shark embryos sometimes devour each other in the womb—what’s not to love? But for people in the Boston area, sharks are of more than just academic interest: 17 great white sharks have been seen in the waters off Cape Cod in the past week.
Sharks do attack humans, but only rarely. Statistically you’re more likely to die from taking a selfie than from being attacked by a shark. If you’re curious to know the truth about sharks as opposed to the myths, take a look at this fact sheet published by the World Wildlife Federation.
And if you don’t get the Discovery Channel but still want to get your shark on, the library can help. Our database Science in Context (go to SPL’s website and click on “databases” at the top of the screen) has a wealth of information about sharks, from their evolutionary origins to current conservation efforts.
If you want to know more about sharks, check out Sharks in Question: The Smithsonian Answer Book.
If you want to know the etymology of the word “shark” (of course you do!) consult The Oxford English Dictionary (volume XV, Ser-Soosy).
If you want to read poems about sharks, the children’s book Slickety Squick: Poems about Sharks, awaits you in the Children’s Department.
If you want to read poems by sharks, sadly, we cannot help you.
And if you want to just kick back and watch a movie, our video streaming service Hoopla (you’ll find it in our list of databases) has all the Sharknado films. It’s a series that speaks to our time: we’ve had a lot of extreme weather events in this country in the past year, and what could be more extreme than a sharknado?