10 Amazing Sharks From Around The World
Sharks are one of the ocean's creatures that cause the most disagreement among scuba divers. When we plunge into the water and a shark swims past us, some of us can't think of anything better, while others can't think of anything scarier! This article is for shark enthusiasts as we've compiled 10 incredible sharks and the greatest locations to see them worldwide!
1. Great White Sharks
One of the most thrilling experiences is swimming with great white sharks! It's an unforgettable experience to see these 15 to 20 foot long gorgeous creatures underwater with their countless sparkling teeth. Although it might seem a little intimidating, you are safe behind a cage, so don't be alarmed. Since you are typically only 1 m below the surface, Great White encounters typically don't require any prior scuba diving experience.
But if you want a true one-of-a-kind experience, go to Port Lincoln, South Australia, where Rodney Fox conducts the only bottom cage dive in the entire world, which requires at least an Open Water certification. You can spend 45 minutes heading 18 meters below the surface to see Great White Sharks in a way that few others have.
The best places to see great white sharks are:
- Gansbaai, South Africa – June to September.
- Port Lincoln, South Australia, Australia – April to June or November to January.
- Guadalupe, Mexico – July to November.
2. Basking Sharks
Think about swimming along and spotting a shark approaching you with its mouth open. That is how it feels to be in the water with a basking shark! But relax; it appears to be far more scary than it is. The Basking Shark, the second-largest fish in the ocean, is similar to the Whale Shark in that it is a filter feeder (that is, it enjoys eating plankton), is calm, and reaches lengths of about 30 feet (just behind the Whale Shark).
It is advised to snorkel or free dive with basking sharks because they are afraid of the bubbles produced by scuba divers. This shark's up to 3-year gestation cycle is another fascinating detail, in addition to its absurdly large mouth.
Best locations to encounter Basking Sharks:
- The Hebrides, Scotland – April to September.
- Cornwall England – May to October.
3. Whale Sharks
Book a tour to snorkel with the magnificent Whale Sharks if you wish to swim with the largest fish in the ocean! One of the most graceful animals in the water, these filter-feeding, 40-foot-long sharks are also filter feeders. Similar to basking sharks, snorkeling with whale sharks is preferred. Check out our post The Ultimate Guide to Snorkeling with Whale Sharks for information on how to choose a whale shark trip.
Best locations to encounter Whale Sharks:
- Donsol Bay, Philippines- December to May.
- Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia – March to July.
- Sun Island, Maldives – Year-round. Best sightings are between August and November.
4. Hammerhead Sharks
Hammerhead sharks, so named because of their head's hammer-like shape, can reach lengths of up to 12 feet. They have the distinct benefit of virtually 360-degree vision thanks to the positioning of their eyes on the side of their heads, which improves their ability to identify food.
It is an incredible sight to watch as hundreds of scalloped Hammerhead Sharks migrate throughout the summer months in search of cooler water because they normally graze on the bottom due to their extremely small mouths.
Best locations to encounter Hammerhead Sharks:
- Cocos Island, Costa Rica – May to November. Can only be reached via liveaboard.
- Layang Layang, Malaysia – March to May.
- Protea Banks, South Africa – November to January.
5. Thresher Sharks
Divers enjoy watching sharks hunt underwater, but watching a Thresher Shark hunt is something else entirely! They have an enormously long tail that resembles a whip and can grow as long as their body. Before consuming their victim, they shock it with their tail. It is one of the few shark species that enjoys jumping completely out of the water in addition to their distinctive hunting techniques!
Best locations to encounter Thresher Sharks:
- Malapascua Island, Philippines – Year round.
6. Tiger Sharks
Tiger Sharks get their name from the stripes on their body that resemble tigers, as the name would imply. It's interesting to note that Tiger Shark pups have spots that eventually combine to form stripes, so you might not recognize them if you see them.
These sharks are abundant in subtropical and tropical regions and are huge, measuring 15 feet long, making them the second largest predatory shark in the ocean after the Great White.
Best locations to encounter Tiger Sharks:
- Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama Island – early April. Can also see a variety of other sharks such as: Nurse, Lemon and Reef sharks.
- Oahu, Hawaii – September to December.
- Protea Banks, South Africa – March to June.
7. Bull Sharks
Swimming with the Bull Sharks is the activity for you if you like to take risks and want to interact with the shark that is regarded as the most ferocious in the world. These sharks, which are typically found in shallow, muddy waters, aren't trying to attack you; rather, any assaults by this kind of shark (like most shark attacks) are the result of misidentification. Bull sharks can swim in both salt and freshwater, which is a fascinating fact!
Best locations to encounter Bull Sharks:
- Playa del Carmen Mexico – November to March.
- Shark Reef, Fiji – year round. Can see an array of other sharks as well tiger, white tip, black tip, and grey reef to name a few.
- Bat Islands Costa Rica – May to October.
8. Port Jackson Shark
Although they are attractive, Port Jackson sharks have an odd appearance. They have a mouth that appears absurdly small for their skull, with small, pointed teeth in the front and flat, large teeth in the back.
The Port Jackson Shark differs from most sharks in that it can breathe and eat simultaneously. You can only locate one of these creatures swimming around in the waters off the Australian east coast, and since they are nocturnal, your chances of spotting one increase at night.
Best locations to encounter Port Jackson Sharks:
- NSW, Australia – July to October.
9. Epaulette Shark
Due to the black mark behind each fin that resembles military epaulettes, the shark is properly dubbed the Epaulette Shark. These sharks are calm and little (between two and three feet long). If you are fortunate enough to observe an Epaulette Shark, you will notice two incredible characteristics: They are referred regarded as "walking sharks" and can go an hour without oxygen. Yes, they can walk for short distances on land and use their fins to walk along the seafloor rather than swim. It is better to go outside at sunrise or dusk to see these guys because that is when they are most active.
Best locations to encounter Epaulette Sharks:
- Great Barrier Reef, QLD, Australia – Year round.
- Raja Ampat, Indonesia – Year round.
10. Mako Shark
Best locations to encounter Mako Sharks:
- San Diego & Rhode Island, USA – June to October.
- Cape Town, South Africa – November to June.
- Island of Azores, Portugal – July to October.
About the Author
Amanda and her husband Dean have been certified divers since 2009. Amanda has her advanced open water and Dean is a dive master. They have travelled the world and dived many sites in Australia, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.
Amanda and Dean have a travel blog called Scatabout which details the fun and unique experiences they have had on their world travels. You can find them doing something adventurous like scuba diving, hiking or something strange like running down the side of a building.
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