Great White Sharks

Took a shark dive in Hermanus, South Africa and learned a few things! Great White Shark teeth are basically arranged like an escalator; as soon as one's gone another rotates up into its place. They go through 1,000 teeth a year. But get this... Great White Shark skin is actually made of teeth. Dermal Denticles. I kid you not.

The chummer pours fish guts behind our boat to attract Great Whites.

The chummer pours fish guts behind our boat to attract Great Whites.

And yet, every marine scientist will assure you that Great Whites are not particularly dangerous to people. "More people die from toasters than from shark attacks each year!" They say.

These people are seasick. I don't think they saw any sharks at all.

These people are seasick. I don't think they saw any sharks at all.

Also, Great White Sharks have a sixth sense. Their snouts are covered in Ampullae of Lorenzini pores, which sounds like a problem, and it is, if you are swimming near a Great White Shark, because we all have a little electric charge, and the gel in these Lorenzini pores registers electrogradients as minute as a billionth of a volt across a centimeter. I'm no electrician, but that's shockingly sensitive. In fact, sharks are the most sensitive electrical sensors on Earth. They are more sensitive than any other living creature, and they are more sensitive than humanity's most advanced equipment.

This guy is betting his life on this garden fencing.

This guy is betting his life on this garden fencing.

The water here is about 54 degrees F. Cold enough to make you wish for a toaster. We put wetsuits on and got in this cage and waited for sharks to come check out a giant ball of fish-heads tied to a rope that the chummer was throwing around.

This is the boat for high IQ people who don't muck around with wetsuits and underwater cages. They came to watch our expert chummer work his magic.

This is the boat for high IQ people who don't muck around with wetsuits and underwater cages. They came to watch our expert chummer work his magic.

Sharks are very curious, because they are very hungry. They will check out anything that is moving or bleeding or electrical in nature to see if it can be eaten. Especially if it's a giant ball of fish-heads!

Our expert chummer got his ball of fish-heads stuck inside a Great White Shark.

Our expert chummer got his ball of fish-heads stuck inside a Great White Shark.

Great White Sharks average 15 feet in length, and can weigh up to 4 tons. That is equivalent to 3,600 toasters. Thankfully for our chummer, he is harnessed to the boat. Finally the shark let go of the fish-head ball.

Still seasick, but handsomely so.

Still seasick, but handsomely so.

I didn't get an underwater camera because there's a sign at my photolab that makes fun of people with underwater cameras and I don't want them to judge me. So, I don't have any photos of the sharks underwater. I can tell you and you should believe me that it was one of the most memorable things I've ever done. These sensitive monsters would just crash into the cage, rubbing their skinteeth along the bars, and you're just eye to eye, a few inches away. Unbelievable.

Cleaning seasickness off the boat back at shore.

Cleaning seasickness off the boat back at shore.

One last true fact about Great White Sharks. A mama shark holds 10-12 little babies in her uterus. But she only gives birth to one or two. BECAUSE THE STRONG BABY SHARKS EAT THE WEAK BABY SHARKS IN THE WOMB! Seriously efficient natural selection. Great Whites, after all, are at the pinnacle of the marine food chain. Also, take dramamine.