Sharks species are a valuable part of our ecosystem and can play an important role in reducing the number of fish in our oceans. When people hear the word “shark,” they tend to think of the dangerous species that can cause serious injury or even kill. In fact, there are several harmless shark species that you might encounter while swimming in the ocean.
Calling all shark lovers! There are some harmless sharks that you may not have heard of before.
1 Whale Shark
The Whale Shark is a species that has a reputation for being harmless and one of the largest fish in the ocean.
A whale shark feeding frenzy is an amazing sight to behold. They use their giant mouths to suck in prey whole, including any smaller fish that happen to get in the way. While whale sharks may look intimidating, they’re actually some of the gentlest marine creatures around. These gentle giants can grow up to 5.5 to 10 m long and weight up to 19,000 kg or bite force up to 19,000 Psi. In fact, many people consider them one of the world’s best filter feeders.
Their huge mouths are full of rows of small teeth that help them snatch food off the surface of the water. This cleaning process helps them eat a variety of different types of plankton and other small organisms. Unlike popular belief, these sharks are not afraid of divers in the water. In fact, they often swim right up next to divers and investigate them. Whale sharks are curious creatures, and love to see everything that is going on around them. Even if you are scaring them off, they will likely come back later. As per the available information, this fish will not attack humans, even if provoked.
2 Basking Shark
Like Whale Shark, they have a filter-feeder system where they slowly suck in water and salt through specially adapted gills located next to their mouth. This process helps them digest their food so that they can convert it into energy for themselves and their young. Spanning over 7.9 m long and weighting up to 5200 kg.
The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is a coastal carnivore that belongs to the lamniformes shark family. This species can be easily confused with Great White Sharks, which is also a member of the lamniformes family and is a top predator in open ocean environments.
Although basking sharks are not known to attack humans, this does not stop some people from fearing them. Basking sharks are still considered to be harmless creatures and should not be feared.
Basking Sharks are perhaps the best swimmers around, and they make great Human diving partners.
3 Leopard Shark
Leopard sharks typically have a dark gray or black body with lighter gray or white markings on their fins and tail. Leopard sharks range in size from 6-7 feet in length and can have a maximum weight of 10 kilograms. It is found along the Pacific coast of North America, from the U.S. state of Oregon to Mazatlán in Mexico.
These sharks prefer smaller prey items than other sharks, making them an ideal shark for freshwater fishing enthusiasts. They are also known to be some of the most social sharks in the sea, often residing in large groups while hunting.
Leopard sharks prefer relatively shallow waters for swimming just like human divers. There is currently no information available on these sharks attacking humans. Every day, leopard sharks swim along the ocean floor hunting crabs and small fish. As humans swim closer to leopard sharks in an attempt to take photos or video, these predators often swim away. Overall, the Leopard Shark is a fairly placid creature and poses no significant danger to humans.
4 Nurse Shark
The nurse shark is an elasmobranch fish in the family Ginglymostomatidae. Nurse sharks grow to be around 14 feet long and weigh around 132 pounds. The nurse shark has a stocky body with a flattened round nose. They have scaly skin that ranges in color from light to dark grey, and they have large eyes that give them excellent night vision.
If you love nothing more than soaking up the sun on the beach, then you’re in luck! Nurse Sharks are a type of shark that typically frequents warm water areas like the ocean. These sharks are known for their couch potato lifestyle, which means they prefer to lie at the bottom of the ocean rather than swimming around, eating small fish and invertebrates. Why are they so lazy? Researchers aren’t sure, but it may have something to do with their slow metabolism.
Although these sharks are least known to attack humans, this is not something that happens often. There have been only a handful of reported non-fatal attacks recorded ever, and most of these incidents involve people who have intruded into the shark’s territory or been caught in catchment nets set by fisherman.
5 Angel Shark
Angel Sharks are one of the most interesting shark species as they can be found in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic. The angel sharks are a group of sharks in the genus Squatina of the family Squatinidae and can grow up to 3-4 feet and maximum reported length is 5 feet and weigh as much as 77 pounds.
Angel Sharks are small but elusive fish that can be found throughout the coastal regions of the world. They are usually colored a light tan or a yellowish color and have a prominent row of short dorsal fins running from their heads to their tails. Angel Sharks feed mainly on smaller bottom-dwelling creatures, but are also known to take larger prey items. Angel sharks are highly camouflaged and often difficult to see, even when they are near the surface.
Angel Sharks have a reputation as being fierce hunters, but that’s not always the case. In fact, Angel Sharks are often shy and will only attack if they feel threatened or if they believe they can catch an adequate meal.
6 Bamboo Shark
Bamboo sharks inhabit coastal waters along Southeast Asia and the Australian continent. These Bamboo sharks are between 24 to 37 inch long. Bamboo sharks are impressive hunters, capable of seizing and holding their prey with precision but still least dangerous for humans.
Bamboo sharks are some of the most docile sharks in the ocean. Oftentimes they will sit still while you take pictures or video of them. Unlike many other sharks, they have a thick skin that is smooth to the touch. This makes them an ideal choice for divers who want to experience something different but still enjoy interacting with marine life.
Splashing and swirling in the clear waters of your favorite dive spot is like petting a cloud; until you come in contact with the bamboo sharks. These fast-moving apex predators always delight divers with their playful antics.
7 Goblin Shark
The goblin shark is one of the scariest looking sharks out there. Its appearance is almost ethereal, with a long, thin body and an elongated snout. This shark prefers deep waters, but can also be found near the surface in colder seas. Goblin sharks are solitary predators that feed on small fish and other mammals.
The goblin shark is the apex predator of the deep sea. It is an oblong-shaped shark with a long snout and small eyes. The goblin shark can grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 460 pounds. It feeds mainly on small prey such as squid, weaverfish, and sole sock squids.
The goblin shark is a species of Deep Sea Shark that can grow to be up to 12 feet long, but its most distinguishing feature is its bizarre retractable jaw. This allows the goblin shark to open wide and catch prey much smaller than itself, making it an extremely successful hunter.
They are not particularly aggressive sharks and typically avoid humans. A few reports suggest a Goblin Shark attacking a human is actually quite rare, but it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and take caution if you spot one in the water. This deep sea predator has a voracious appetite and hunts only in very deep ocean waters.
8 Greenland Shark
The Greenland shark is a very large and powerful shark that can reach lengths of up to 23 feet long. These sharks are the second biggest shark in the world after the great white shark. They live in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters and are known to prey on seals, sea lions, and other large mammals.
It has a stout body with a pointed snout and small eyes. The Greenland Shark weighs over 1,025 kg (2,260 pounds). These sharks are also known as the gurry shark, grey shark.
This species is believed to have a lifespan of around 400 years. The Greenland shark can be identified by its long, slender body and flat head.
Greenland sharks are a species of shark that has been considered harmless to humans for some time now. So long as you’re not swimming in their habitat and avoid getting too close, these sharks should pose no threat to you when out enjoying the ocean. Although it has been speculated that the Greenland shark may occasionally attack and eat humans, this is still considered to be an extremely rare occurrence. In fact, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Greenland shark is considered to be a harmless species.
9 Sand Tiger Shark
The sand tiger shark is the most common species of shark and found in both subtropical and temperate waters worldwide. Sand tiger sharks are also known as gray nurse sharks. The sand tiger shark is officially considered a resident of the western Pacific Ocean, ranging from the Gulf of California to near Australia. This shark is found primarily in coral reefs, but has been known to forage in open water as well. Sand tiger sharks are usually considered harmless to humans, but can be dangerous if provoked.
Sand tigers can grow up to 3.2 meters (10.5 feet) long and weigh up to 87 kg (192 pounds). They are large-bodied and display a mouthful of sharp teeth that protrude in all directions, even when the mouth is shut. Sand Tiger sharks can have a bite pressure of more than 6,000 pounds per square centimeter.
But This species is not known to attack humans and is in fact considered to be one of the least dangerous sharks in regards to human safety. While it can bite humans if provoked, this attack is not common and generally only happens when the shark feels threatened or cornered. The sand tiger shark is also known to feed on a variety of different aquatic creatures, making it relatively harmless overall.
10 Thresher Shark
The thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus) is a large, long-bodied and long-tailed fish in the family Alopiidae. The thresher shark is found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world. A Thresher Shark can be identified by its characteristic long snout, big eyes, large gill slits, and toothpick-like dorsal and anal fins. The thresher shark is a powerful swimmer capable of cruising at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. And live a long time, 19 to 50 years.
Threshers grow slowly but can reach lengths of up to 5.4 meters and weigh up to 200 kilograms, making them powerful sharks in the ocean. These sharks are found throughout the world in both tropical and temperate waters, but they are especially common in the Indo-Pacific region.
Do not be fearful of the thresher shark! These gentle giants are among the most popular and harmless sharks in the ocean. The species is shy and difficult to approach. Despite their fearsome name, thresher sharks are only interested in plankton and small fish. This means that they are unlikely to attack humans, even if they were hostile. However, because these sharks feed mostly on fish that other sharks might consider a meal, it is important to remember that they can sometimes be dangerous if provoked.
11 Cow Shark
The cow shark is a species of shark that lives in all the world’s oceans, as far north as Iceland and as far south as New Zealand and South Africa. And can grow up to 5.5 m long and weight more than 100 kg.
The cow shark (Hexanchidae) is a shark in the family Hexanchidae, characterized by an additional pair or pairs of gill slits. Its members are placed within the 10 genera: Gladio Serratus, Pachyhexanchus, Heptranchias, Hexanchus, Notidanodon, Pseudonotidanus, Notorynchus, Paraheptranchias, Welcommia, and Weltonia.
Cow sharks are one of the more common shark species in Florida waters. But They are considered harmless to humans and typically do not prey on humans. However, there have been some reports of cow sharks attacking humans for unknown reasons. In all likelihood, these cases are the result of mistaken identity or fear rather than hunger.
Overall, cow sharks are a gentle and harmless animal that should not be viewed as a threat to humans.
12 Caribbean Reef Shark
The Caribbean reef shark is a species of requiem shark, belonging to the family Carcharhinidae. It is found in the tropical waters of the western and central Atlantic Ocean, including Florida, Bermuda, the north coast of Brazil and the east coast of South America. This shark is one of the most abundant sharks in these areas and is a popular target for divers.
The Caribbean reef shark is a large shark, reaching lengths of over 6.5 to 9.8 feet long and weight up to 70 kg. Its body is covered with small scales that create a smooth appearance. This shark has a plain white underbelly and a long snout, narrow snout with a sharply pointed tip. The lower third of the lateral line may have small swellings called tubercles. There are also several prominent ridges on the back. The dorsal fin is short and rounded and there’s a faint ridge running down the center of its back. The anal fin is also short and rounded.
It has a unique color and is white to light yellow on the ventral side and grey-brown to dark-grey on the dorsal side.
The Caribbean Reef Shark is a harmless shark species that is sometimes encountered by divers and swimmers. These sharks are unlikely to attack humans, despite their reputation as predators. These are attracted to human activity, but have never been known to attack a person. Although there is no guarantee that the Caribbean reef shark will not attack you, it is generally safe to swim with them if you respect their space.
Sharks are one of the most feared animals in the world, but many of the species that people think of as dangerous are actually very harmless. As we all know, sharks aren’t the most gentle creatures in the sea. However, there are a few shark species that are known for being relatively harmless to humans. If you’re ever feeling afraid of swimming with these animals, don’t forget about these 12 harmless sharks that will hopefully make you feel a whole lot better about your swimming future!