Frequency of shark attacks linked to moon phases reveals new study


According to new studies from LSU and the University of Florida, the fuller the moon, the more sharks attack. Although the specific explanation is still unknown, researchers have found that periods of higher lunar illumination have more shark attacks than usual, while periods of lower illumination have fewer attacks.

Researchers have looked at links between lunar phases and shark attacks despite the fact that many animals exhibit lunar phase-related behaviors.

Frontiers in Marine Science is where the study was published.

(Photo: George Desipris)

Shark attacks and moon phase changes

The importance of this study is due to the amount of data analyzed. The Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, home to the International Shark Attack File, houses a 55-year record of shark attacks worldwide, from 1960 to 2015.

Researchers have found a link between moon phases and shark attacks around the world, but why it happens remains a mystery, according to

LSU associate professor and researcher Steve Midway said it’s not enough to increase the amount of light sharks see at night. Shark attacks are more common during the day.

Although scientists can perceive the effects of gravitational pull on the tides, the moon can exert much more subtle influences on the Earth and its oceans. Said this.

Within the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences of the Littoral and Environment College, his experience in fisheries ecology and statistical analysis brought a new perspective to this project.

Read also : A stunning beach in Brazil has the highest rate of shark attacks in the world

Does Lunar Illumination Play a Role in Shark Attacks?

According to the researchers, there is currently a lack of evidence that lunar illumination plays a role in shark attacks. Shark attacks are still difficult to explain, but their new data can be used to help make suggestions for future aquatic recreational activities.

After reviewing the vast amount of data, Midway believes there is something worth investigating further.

The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA contains the data used in this research project. There are over 6,500 individual investigations (records) in the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), which was established in 1958 and is one of the most comprehensive repositories of shark attack data.

The involvement of sharks has been confirmed in some cases; in others, this is not the case and the evidence is insufficient. Only proven unprovoked attacks on humans living in the shark’s home area are used in data analysis examining natural interactions, as has been the long-established standard.

the Sharks

(Photo: Miss Ribeiro)

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The scientists looked at confirmed unprovoked shark attacks that occurred between 1970 and 2016, when there was the most human-shark contact and most ISAF records were available. Each attack was tied to moon phase data received from the United States Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department, which provided data services.

As a point of reference, a full moon occurs at 100% light, a new moon occurs at 0% light, and the first and last quarters occur at 50% light. There is no direct visual link between moonlight and shark attacks as attacks can occur at any time.

In addition, lunar illumination serves as an accurate and quantitative proxy for the phase of the moon, which includes not only illumination but also gravity (tides) and electromagnetic fields.

Related article: Experts reveal most great white shark attacks on humans are cases of ‘mistaken identity’

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