Fourth of July, Jaws and shark trivia; perfect together (VIDEO)

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Jaws, the Spielberg classic set on July 4th. Jaws, the Spielberg classic set on July 4th.  

It is the Fourth of July and while it is definitely time to watch a parade, wave the flag and end the day with great fireworks, there is another tradition you can count on leading up to the holiday; "Jaws" will be on TV.

Since July Fourth weekend in 1975 when Steven Spielberg first introduced us to Chief Martin Brody, Matt Hooper, Quint, and let's not forget Amity's Mayor Vaughan, we cannot approach the holiday without catching at least one of the Jaws movies, though preferably the one that really scared us, the original.

AMC was running a Jaws-a-thon leading up to the Fourth of July. Earlier in the week you could flip the channel and catch that hauntingly familiar music. John Williams scored the movie and created a sound so distinct that if you have seen the movie even once, you could likely name that tune in less than five notes.

Jaws helped to fuel our collective fascination with sharks. There is so much to learn about this incredible creature so here are some little-known shark facts and trivia that you can sink your teeth into.

The Great White Shark gets the bad rap as the most ferocious shark that attacks unprovoked like in Jaws. Truth is, the real story that inspired Jaws was a shark attack up a river in New Jersey in 1916. Scientists believe, though the Great White was blamed, it is more likely that it was a Bull Shark. The Bull Shark is one of the very few sharks able to survive in low salinity water, like river water.

On average, around the world there are six people killed by sharks each year. Ninety percent of people attacked by sharks survive.

There are more than 370 species of shark. They range from the 6-inch Dwarf Lanternfish Shark to the gentle Giant Whale Shark that has been documented at 10 tons.

The Spiny Dog Fish Shark can live up to 100 years.

Although the Great White Shark is considered a perfect eating machine, there are some kinds of sharks capable of going an entire year without eating. They survive by living off the oil stored in their body. (That is a heck of a diet).

The short fin Mako shark is the fastest of all and has been clocked at up to 22 mph. The speedy Mako is also very agile and able to leap up to 20 feet in the air. They have been known to attack people; they lunge at their prey and their favorite delicacy is swordfish.

The Sand Tiger Shark, like the one that washed up in Wildwood last week, is normally found near shipwrecks. It is equipped with an air bladder and brings its head out of the water in order to fill that bladder.

The Ocean White Tip Shark has been known to attack humans in a feeding frenzy. It is believed that when the U.S.S. Indianapolis was torpedoed by the Japanese in the Philippines in June, 1945, it was Ocean White Tip Sharks that caused the death of so many sailors. More than 900 went into the water and only 319 were rescued alive.

Scientists believe the Hammerhead Shark, with its distinctive head, uses it to pin its prey to the ocean floor and yet not hurt itself.  A hammerhead's favorite food? Stingrays.

The shark is blessed with a powerful sense of smell; roughly 10,000 times better than that of humans.

The shark also has excellent eyesight. They are able to see above and below the surface of the water. Many species have protective eyelids that cover their eyes as they are attacking their prey.

While sharks will eat almost anything, they cannot eat puffer fish because they inflate while inside the shark's mouth and poke the shark with their formidable spikes. 

Take a wild guess what color a Lemon Shark is. It is yellow and it gives birth annually to between four and 16 pups.

Check out the trailer below, they gave their best effort to scare us out of the water and it only fed our collective fascination with sharks; "Jaws" the original.  

blog comments powered by Disqus