Turn Shark Week into Shark Year
What surely started as a lark, Shark Week has become one of the most-anticipated weeks of cable TV viewing each year. But is seven days really enough time to spotlight one of nature’s most-feared and most-awed predators? Here in southwest Florida, we think not.
In fact, if you count shark tooth collectors (more on that in a minute) and tourists, it’s Shark Week 52 weeks a year down here. This, we think, is a much more appropriate honor for the great whites, hammerheads, lemons, makos, bulls and the rest swimming in oceans worldwide.
Ok, as promised, the tooth collector thing …
It makes sense. For millions of years sharks have called the Gulf of Mexico home. That’s millions of sharks and 1 shark can produce as many as 24,000 teeth in a lifetime. Do the math and that’s a lot, and we mean a lot of shark teeth. And they all seem to end up in the sands of Venice and Caspersen Beaches. That’s why you can always find shark tooth collectors and vacationers on the beach at all hours – searching through the sands and surf with sifters made especially to gather shark teeth of all sizes and colors. Pack some zinc oxide, pick up one of those sifters (at almost any local store) and join in the tooth treasure hunt on your next vacation.
When you’ve filled your quota on shark teeth, the year-long ode to sharks continues a few miles north to Sarasota – home to the world famous Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
Mote is home to award-winning marine research, exhibits and education opportunities that have been fascinating families, tourists and school classes since 1955. Learn all about Mote here.
Mote is also home to Shark Zone! Mote has the only Center for Shark Research recognized by the US Congress. This center studies why sharks rarely get cancer and use that knowledge to hopefully find treatments for us.
The Shark Zone also houses a 135,000 gallon Shark Habitat. While swimming with the sharks is highly frowned upon, viewing them is encouraged – and breathtaking.
If that’s not enough for the Shark Lover in you, sign up for a Shark Encounter and you can feed them.
There’re so many other exhibits at Mote that you can make a day out it. Enjoy.
As you can see, we take our sharks seriously here, year ’round. You should too.