Sharks have a reputation for being ferocious killing machines– giant monsters that prowl the oceans hoping to feast on unsuspecting swimmers. But that’s not true! Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, and most are harmless. The smallest shark, the dwarf lanternshark, is less than 8 inches long. Even the largest shark, the whale shark, doesn’t pose a threat to people– these gentle giants reach lengths of over 30 feet, but they feed on tiny animals like krill. In fact, lots of people swim and dive with whale sharks!

While there are a few species of shark that have been known to hurt people, these attacks are incredibly rare and result from sharks confusing humans with other kinds of prey. But while people have almost nothing to fear in sharks, we do pose a big threat to these fish. Pollution, global warming, and overfishing are dangerous to all sea creatures, including sharks. Recycling, using less plastic, and making earth-friendly choices about how you travel are all ways to help!

Photo by Crystaldive