Hannah Wolverton

As a blogger and aspiring writer, Hannah is excited to be interning with the Brand Communications team for the summer before heading back to Pepperdine University to finish her degree in Creative Writing. With family ties to LUSH, she’s had bubble baths and smelly soaps in her bathtub ever since she can remember. When she’s not at home in Vancouver, she can be found studying and soaking up the sun on one of the many beaches in Malibu.

Jul 07.30

6 Common Shark Myths Debunked

Ethical Campaigns

Conventional media has largely conditioned us to fear sharks. They’re portrayed as blood-thirsty monsters, and myths surrounding their temperament, importance to the ecosystem and their value to humans are rampant—and may be contributing to their rapidly declining populations.

Let’s take a look at some common shark myths, and get to know the truth behind these beautiful and important creatures.

MYTH: Sharks like to eat humans

No matter how many movies you’ve seen with killer shark attacks, the truth is that sharks do not like to eat humans! On the rare occasions that shark attacks have occurred, it’s usually because the shark has mistaken a human for its prey, or it is just curious, using inquisitive bites to examine something unfamiliar.

MYTH: Sharks aren’t important

Some people believe that if sharks were to disappear, the world would be a better place. However, like any animal, sharks are integral to the balance and function of the ecosystems they inhabit—the very same ecosystem that provides us with the air we breathe and the food we eat. Sharks balance the ocean’s food chain and keep marine populations healthy by feeding off the sick and weak.

MYTH: Nothing can hurt a shark

While sharks are apex predators in the oceans, humans pose a significant and unnatural threat to shark populations. Every year up to 100 million sharks are killed for their fins, and many are unfortunate victims of poor fishing management, being accidentally caught by commercial fishing operations. Because sharks grow and mature quite slowly, their populations struggle to replenish themselves at the same rate of fishing and finning, resulting in rapid declines worldwide.

MYTH: Sharks aren’t intelligent

A common myth is that sharks have brains the size of walnuts and aren’t particularly intelligent. However, it’s been found that sharks have some of the biggest brains among all fish, having brain-to-body ratios close to that of birds and mammals.

MYTH: Shark attacks are common

Although the media may make shark attacks seem like a common occurrence, you’re actually more likely to be struck by lightning than to be attacked by a shark! In fact, more people are injured by toilets and killed by falling coconuts each year than are attacked by sharks. In 2013 there were 72 shark attacks globally, of which only 10 were fatal.

MYTH: Shark fin soup contains valuable medicinal properties
This common claim is a myth. Shark fins are made up entirely of cartilage, a flexible protein that has no nutritional value or health benefits. Shark flesh is actually likely to contain poisonous amounts of mercury, as the shark absorbs mercury and other toxins from all the fish it’s consumed.

There you have it—not everything you hear about sharks is true! Want to help protect sharks? Sign the #FinFree petition, or purchase our Shark Fin soap: 100% of the purchase price supports Fin Free, a global campaign dedicated to eliminating shark finning.