Discovery Channel's MYTHBUSTERS
Adam, Jamie, Kari and Doc
testing the lemon sharks
Discovery Channel's hit TV show, MythBusters, spent four days at the BBFS testing some of the myths that surround sharks. Can sharks really detect a single drop of blood in a swimming pool? Are sharks attracted to swimmers because of their sunscreen, or because they pee in their wetsuits? Could a large shark really pull down a boat, or a helicopter, like in the movie Jaws?
MythBusters hosts Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, and Kari Byron along with camera men Jeremy Wong and Peter Coleman, sound recorder Jen Longhurst, Associate Producer Alice Dallow, and Executive Producer Peter Rees came to the Sharklab to test these longstanding myths. From November 28 through December 1, 2004 the BBFS and MythBusters crews tried to separate fact from fiction.
The first tests done were designed to see if it's true that sharks can really detect a single drop of blood in a swimming pool. For this test, two lemon sharks were kept in a small tank of water and presented with varying concentrations of fish blood to try to determine the threshold at which sharks could perceive dilute amounts of blood. The shark tub was equipped with remote cameras to record the sharks' response as the blood was added to the water. After testing fish blood, other variables were tested as well. Additional tests were done to see how the sharks responded to human blood, sunscreen, vomit, and urine.
Katie explains the shark responses
to Adam and Kari
Matthias, Bryan, Jamie, and Adam
get ready to weigh a caribbean reef shark
The MythBusters crew also wanted to see just how much force a swimming shark can generate, could a shark really pull something much larger than itself through, or into, the water? To examine this, three species of shark were put to the test pulling against a strain gauge that measured the amount of pull the sharks could sustain.
A lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris), blacknose shark ( Carcharinus acronotus), and Caribbean reef shark (Carcharinus perezi) of various sizes and strengths were all tested to see the correlation between a shark's mass and potential pulling force. The strain gauge was able to measure not only the sustained pull created by the swimming shark, but also the "shock load" generated as the animals jerked through the water
The MythBusters crew on
the BBFS Shark Dive
So were these myths about sharks true, or just misinformation made up in the movies? You'll have to wait to find out. The footage shot at the BBFS, along with other shark tests run by the MythBusters crew, will air as part of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week in July of 2005. To see what Adam, Jamie, and the rest of the MythBusters gang are up to until then, check their show every week on Discovery.
The entire BBFS Staff would like to thank the MythBusters cast & crew for their hard work, professionalism, and camaraderie during their visit to the Sharklab. It was a pleasure working with you all.