Shark Attack Experiment: LIVE

They aren’t cute and cuddly, but sharks are still very important! Nat Geo Wild is airing an amazing show tonight called Shark Attack Experiment: LIVE!

Shark Attack Experiment: LIVE will feature a team of free-divers and conservationists putting their safety on the line to separate myth from reality and dispel negative myths about sharks while raising public awareness about shark species which are being driven to extinction.

A two-hour live event airing on Nat Geo Wild tonight, Friday, November 25th at 9 PM ET

This two-hour special draws on leading experts to test common shark attack myths while swimming freely among them. Here is a sneak peek:

Mark Thompson, the former host of Guinness World Records Primetime and Fox’s Emmy Awards red-carpet coverage, will co-host Shark Attack Experiment LIVE with Anna Gilligan, former Fox News Channel personality, from Rocky Bay, South Africa, commonly referred to as “Shark Park.” It is home to some of the most concentrated and diverse shark populations in the world, including species with a reputation for attacking people, such as great white, bull, tiger, black tip, ragged tooth and dusky sharks.

In addition to the live broadcast, viewers can go to natgeotv.com/sharkexperiment to find background on the experts and tests as well as live updates from an on-location blog that will include photos, video and text. Unique complementary content will also be offered via social media including Facebook (facebook.com/natgeowildusa) and Twitter 3 NGC viewers outside the U.S. will also have the opportunity to connect and tune in to Shark Attack Experiment LIVE online at natgeotv.com and via social media.

“National Geographic has produced many dozens of films where expert cameramen and scientists researched and filmed sharks while diving among them in open waters,” said Geoff Daniels, senior vice president for Nat Geo WILD. “Typically viewers see the end product of those dives, but this live broadcast allows them to share in the immediacy of the experience.”

Researchers have tracked plummeting shark populations, in part due to indiscriminate fishing and their widespread use in traditional medicines and delicacies. “With more than 350 different kinds of sharks, every ocean around the world is home to this iconic predator, which is vital to the ecosystem of our seas,” said shark researcher Ryan Johnson. “Our goal is to reduce fear through education, while at the same time providing new insight into the triggers that can lead to the rare attacks.”

Humans are not a normal part of a shark’s diet, and experts believe the vast majority of attacks on people are the result of sharks mistaking us for their traditional prey. But what other factors lead to these potentially fatal encounters? The team will travel to five shark hot spots to test common myths and questions:

  • Swimming vs. floating. Does floating listlessly or actively swimming make humans a more attractive target?
  • Color, contrast and shiny surfaces. Do certain colors, bright jewelry or diving equipment attract or provoke sharks to attack?
  • Bodily fluids. We know a shark can detect minuscule amounts of blood, so will human blood or other fluids like urine signal that a tasty meal is at hand?
  • Bare skin. Does exposed human skin, like bare feet, bring them in for the kill?
  • Time of day. Does cover of darkness or daylight increase the likelihood of a shark’s attacking?
  • Panic and fear. Do our involuntary reactions to stress, like an elevated heartbeat, ring the dinner bell for sharks?

Each year, there are hundreds of millions of people swimming in the oceans — the shark’s domain. Yet on average only 65 attacks are reported annually, with five fatalities. But these attacks can easily dominate headlines and watercooler conversations, magnifying these unfortunate incidents into a disproportionate perception of the dangers sharks represent. In fact, on average four times more people are killed by cows in the U.S. each year than are killed by sharks all around the globe.

Will you be tuning in? Thanks to Nat Geo Wild for providing the photo and video sneak peek and information. I for one can’t wait to see what the results of the experiments will be!

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