The WOB news team outdid themselves with this story that they passed along to Bill.
10 reasons to bow down before your shark overlords
Sharks aren't just scary-looking and deadly. They're also superpowered. They rarely get sick, never sleep, and possess sensory organs all over their bodies that allow them to smell electricity and see vibrations.
Here are ten reasons (plus a bonus extra reason) to bow down before your shark overlords.
1. Sharks don't get tumors
A substance called squalamine in sharks prevents them from getting tumors. Squalamine suppresses the growth of blood vessels in any tumors that form, which starves the tumors of oxygen and food and kills them before they become deadly. For the most part, sharks are completely tumor-free (though there are rare exceptions). Scientists are trying to use squalamine in cancer treatments for humans too.
2. Sharks evolved millions of years before you did
The earliest sharks evolved hundreds of millions of years ago, when dinosaurs still shook the Earth with their footsteps. Plus, the oldest known fossil of a brain ever found belonged to an ancestor of the shark who lived 300 million years ago. Over time, sharks have evolved very little, though some scientists believe that their sensory organs have gotten more sophisticated over time.
3. Sharks have teeth that are sensory organs
Shark teeth are connected to their nervous system, and they can likely feel temperature and motion with them. They also have multiple rows of teeth that can rotate in their mouths, moving forward and backward as needed.4. Sharks have no bones
Though they are fierce and feel things with their teeth, sharks have no ribcage and their skeletons are all made of cartilage – the soft, fibrous stuff that you have in your nose and ears. This allows sharks to move extremely rapidly because they are much lighter than other marine creatures. It also means that if they are beached, they will collapse under their own weight and crush their organs, because they have no hard bones.
5. Sharks smell in 3D
Sharks can smell a teaspoon full of blood in a body of water the size of Loch Ness. They move toward prey within less than a second after smelling it, because they're able to distinguish which nostril received the scent first, and then zoom in the direction of that nostril. This gives them essentially a 3D sense of smell, which gives them a sense of where the smell is coming from as well as what it is. 14 percent of the shark's brain is devoted to the olfactory, or smell, system.
6. Sharks can also smell electrical fields, using a sense called “electroreception.”
Slate's Daniel Engber explains:
Electroreceptive organs (or “ampullae of Lorenzini”) sit inside little pores on the shark's snout. Living things submerged in salty seawater produce a faint electrical field that the shark can feel at short distances, allowing it to suss out creatures that bury themselves in the sea floor. Muscle contractions also produce little surges of electrical activity that a shark can detect using electroreception. (Research suggests that some sharks may use electroreception like a compass, to help navigate underwater.)
7. Sharks have ears all over their bodies
Running down the sides of shark's bodies is a set of sensory organs called the “lateral line.” It is partly made up of the electroreceptors that allow the sharks to pick up DC and AC electrical fields. But it is also packed with “neuromasts,” which scientists say “consist of canal receptors and pit organs and are mechanoreceptors that are sensitive to water movements caused by external sources as well as the animal's own swimming movements.” Basically they are underwater ears, or perhaps a combination of ears and motion detectors. Either way, they mean that any movement in the water near any part of the shark will be instantly picked up – and possibly subject to attack.
8. Sharks have self-cleaning skin that allows them to move ultra-fast through the water
Shark skins are covered in tiny, sharp scales, resulting in the common observation that they are smooth when stroked head to tail, but will cut you up if you stroke them tail to head (also, tip of the day: don't stroke sharks anyway). But shark skin isn't just there to mess you up. It also creates a cushion that allows sharks to slide rapidly through the water. As one shark guide put it, “Shark skin has . .. . dermal denticles. By trapping the water underneath [the] little dermal denticles, it basically creates, like, a cushion where the shark can glide through the water much easier.” Dermal denticles also keep shark skin free of pests and barnacles, which basically means it is self-cleaning. 9. They can swim across the world in less than a year
Great white sharks can swim 12,400 miles in 9 months. This is the fastest and lengthiest migration of any sea creature ever recorded.
10. Sharks never fall completely asleep
Sharks breathe by moving through the water, pulling oxygen water as it moves through their bodies. As a result, they can't ever fall completely asleep – they have to keep swimming. Recent studies demonstrate that they do this by shutting down parts of their brains, essentially falling asleep in in different regions of their brains at a time.
BONUS superpower: Sharks can be born by immaculate conception
When no male sharks are available, female sharks can have children via parthenogenesis, which means they can fertilize themselves. That's right – sharks can survive and have children without sex. They are basically unstoppable.
Super Boat International’s First Race of The 2011 Season • May 18th – 22nd Cocoa Beach, FL
KEY WEST, Fla. (April 29, 2011)– Super Boat teams are ready for the season opener, The 2nd Annual Bright House Super Boat Grand Prix in Cocoa Beach, FL. Teams have been getting ready during the winter to compete in what is expected to be one of the best seasons for Super Boat racing. In its second consecutive year at Cocoa Beach, this year’s event is off to a thunderous start. While Super Boats raced the Space Coast many years ago, it was just 8 months ago (August 2010) that teams converged on Cocoa Beach and raced after a 20-year hiatus.
Super Boat International is ready to capitalize on what was a very successful event last May in Cocoa Beach. More teams are expected than last year with some of the world’s fastest boats scheduled to race along the sandy beaches near the famous Cocoa Beach Pier. “Last year was a very good first year back and we expect this to be an even more exciting race than before. Coming back only 8 months after our last race here, we are pleased again to see how excited and supportive the community is about Super Boat racing. This is really going to make for a great season opener for 2011,” comments John Carbonell, founder of Super Boat International.
The entire Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach area is excited and making all the preparations necessary for a great event. “We have had so many people call and say they are coming to the Super Boat race. I know this year will be a record crowd. The town is ready, the fans are ready, I’ve heard from the teams… they’re ready, this is just going to be awesome,” comments Kerry Bartlett, Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix Director. “We have such a great team and many volunteers here putting this together and I just can’t thank them all enough for their support.”
With the support of SpaceCoastSportsTV and Super Boat International, Cocoa Beach fans unable to attend can follow Sunday’s activities on superboat.com and watch it through the live streaming broadcast. Super Boat International is broadcasting the entire 2011 season online through live streaming and can be found at superboat.com/live-tv on the day of the race.
While the 2011 schedule was released earlier this spring, SBI has announced their race schedule through the year 2013 with additional news to follow in the upcoming months. Along with Cocoa Beach, races are scheduled for Miami, Sarasota, Michigan City, New York, Clearwater and the World Championships in Key West, Florida.
The schedule for next month’s 2nd Annual Bright House Space Coast Grand Prix starts off with a sponsor and VIP party May 18th at the Paradise Cove Restaurant. Teams, boats and support equipment will continue to arrive Thursday, May 19th in the Dry Pits across from Fishlips. Also, Thursday afternoon starting at 3:00 pm, boats will be on display for the “Powerboats on Parade” downtown Cocoa Beach. Friday, May 20th is team registration and boat inspections along with parties and live entertainment in the evening near the pits. Teams will be testing on Saturday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The races are on Sunday, May 22nd at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Do not be late… teams head out of the pits early straight to the racecourse in preparation for the start of their respective race. Once each race concludes, the race teams return to the pits for inspections. The awards ceremony will be at the VIP stage in the dry pits at 5:00 pm. Race fans, VIP’s and guests are welcome to attend the awards presentation