Interestingly, it seems sharks have their own version of google maps. Research shows that sharks, atleast, two confirmed specied – tiger sharks and thresher sharks, somehow orient themselves and navigate towards a target across long distances.
Do Sharks have a Sixth Sense?
It is still not clear exactly how they do it, but the fact that they do is abundantly clear, backed by solid research. Scientists and researchers concluded this after several observations of shark travels and their patterns, using data from tiger sharks tagged with acoustic transmitters, and found that they took directed paths from place to place. Thresher sharks and tiger sharks appear to intentionally travel long distances, with an apparently in-built navigation system.
How far do Sharks Travel?
Thresher sharks have been seen to travel around 400 to 1900 meteres, while tiger sharks have been observed traveling more than 6 kilometers, and sometimes even 8 kilometres! In fact, the travels of the tiger shark indicate that the shark has put some thought into it! The tiger sharks swam across deep water at night, indicating that vision was not being used for navigation. They might have used their sense of smell and sound, but given the distance, this seems unlikely.
Magnetic Shark Repellent
Scientists suspect that sharks may be using the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves for long journeys according to research leader Yannis Papastamatiou from the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
Further research also shows that older sharks travel longer distances, which suggests that their mental maps build up as they age.
Are you wondering why they have this super-sense of direction? Presumably because they need to find their way across great distances from the depth of oceans, without any other navigational assistance.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have an in-built GPS like sharks apparently do?