Sharks have ferocious appetites. Most sharks have to eat 2-3% of their body weight everyday, and warm blooded sharks like Great White Sharks have to eat even more. This makes sharks curious, opportunistic predators with diverse diets. They eat a variety of prey from seabirds to crustaceans to krill. So with so many foreign objects in the water because of human activity, sharks have accidentally eaten some very strange things. Here are the weirdest things sharks have ever eaten:
1. License Plates
Tiger Sharks have been referred to as the “trash cans of the sea.” They are incredible hunters who will eat just about anything. Unfortunately a common item Tiger Sharks eat is license plates. The attraction to license plates may simply be curiousity but it could also be that metal reflects light, which could trick a Tiger Shark into thinking it is prey. The oddest part is fisherman have found a license plate all the way from landlocked Kansas in the stomach of a shark.
Tires have been found in the stomachs of several different species of sharks. In the 1970s, at attempt to create a manmade reef to encourage the growth of wildlife and recycle used tires, a group of activists dumped millions of tires into the Gulf of Mexico. The project was not only a failure but lead to sharks mistake the tires for sea life and eating them.
3. A Suit Of Armor
In the 16th Century, an entire suit of armor was found inside the stomach of a Great White Sharks. As Great White Sharks eat sea mammals, the shark probably thought the man wearing the suit of armor was a seal. In order to eat a whole suit of armor, the shark probably had to gobble it up in one bite. A bad idea, but an impressive feat.
4. Fur Coat
Speaking of expensive taste. Sharks have been found with fur coats in their stomachs. Why a shark would eat a fur coat is understandable, they probably mistook it for a sea mammal only to end up disappointed when it didn’t contain any meat. What’s curious about this is how people have lost so many fur coats on the beach in the first place.
5. A Porcupine
Sharks eat all kinds of animals, though rarely do they eat land animals except in strange circumstances. Sharks have eaten polar bears, reindeers, dogs, and even snakes, but the weirdest animal a shark ever ate was a porcupine. A Tiger Shark off the coast of Australia was found to have eaten an Echidna, a type of porcupine, spines and all.
Sharks with big appetites like Tiger Sharks and Great White Sharks are curious eaters, and though it’s bizarre to think about all the weird things they have eaten over the years, these things are very dangerous to the shark’s health. These strange meals highlight the need for humans to be more respectful of what they dump in the ocean. Our carelessness harms sharks, so we need to be more conscientious about what we put in the ocean so our waste doesn’t accidentally become a meal.
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