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shark_tamer
November 20th, 2009, 10:29 PM
The other day my friend told me as a joke :

" I wouldn't dive with you 'cause you pee in your wetsuit, and urine attracs sharks " :confused:

For the last week, I have been searching the web for scientific facts that will either comfirm or deny this.

Please reply with reliable web site links.

Jupiter31
November 21st, 2009, 07:40 PM
Your friend needs to get certified as a "Solo Diver"

We all know that there are only 2 kinds of divers....those that piss their wetsuit and those that lie about it.

I'm not inclined to troll the internet for backup on this but I call BS - if it were true, 99% of the divers would have sharks following them - and let your friend know - just b/c there are xharks, it does not mean you are in grave danger of attack.

Peter_C
November 21st, 2009, 08:12 PM
Only Great Whites from what I understand. They use the smell of mammal urine to lead them to their prey.

So what? Just tame them and make them a pet and call him George...

If you really do want to know more Google is your friend. (http://www.google.com/)

Shark attack facts (http://www.sharkconspiracies.net/Shark%20Conspiracies/Shark%20Conspiracies%20Home_files/List%20to%20Avoid%20Attack.pdf)

Oh and don't forget vomit for those diving off boats with sea sick people onboard :shocked2:

walke121
November 21st, 2009, 08:43 PM
I'm going with BS on that. If you really want to attract sharks just get a speargun and pop a few fish. The sharks will be there shortly.

WVDiver
November 21st, 2009, 08:52 PM
Well sorry I don't have any links to back it up but I was recently told by a well respected Divemaster that urine is a sign of distress to sharks in deep, open ocean waters. We were doing an open ocean night dive over about 8,000' of water off the coast of Hawaii. We did see sharks but I SWEAR it wasn't me that peed in the water. :D You can read the trip report here. Whether it had anything to do with someone in the dive party peeing or not is up for discussion.

I had never heard this claim before this and didn't take much stock in the claim at the time. But after confronting an Oceanic Whitetip I can't help but wonder.

At any rate having dived many different and varied geographic locations and conditions I can not say that this statement is consistent with my own observations. I would venture to guess that for most of the diving community at large, diving in relatively shallow waters, relatively close to shore, it should not be a matter of great concern.

http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/hawaii-ohana/312813-trip-report-big-island-divers-black-water-night-dive.html

walke121
November 21st, 2009, 09:12 PM
I would find it hard to find a correlation to shark sightings due strictly to urine. There are so many other factors that could be the actual cause of the attraction. I am not going to get into the physiological differences between fish and mammal nitrogenous waste removal but I will say that they are quite different in how they work and what the end products are. Even if mammal urine did attract sharks it would have to be on the basis that the shark is just curious. They wouldn't be linking human urine with food. Bottom line I think there are too many variables to attribute shark sightings to something as simple as peeing in your wetsuit.

LIVES4SHARKS
November 22nd, 2009, 03:52 AM
Well after spending a week with Tigers, Lemons, and Hammerheads, I saw no difference in behavior before or after peeing. I spent at least 100 mins or more underwater each dive so it was hard not to pee! Hey at least I can admit it!

When I dive with White Sharks next year, I will let ya know how it goes! ;)

Carolyn:shark2:

debersole
November 22nd, 2009, 08:27 PM
Sounds like a lot of BS to me. Like Carolyn, I've been diving with all types of sharks from reef to lemon to hammerhead to tigers to great whites and haven't noticed any change in their behavior from my relieving myself in my wetsuit.

Now, to turn the statement around, I've heard that seeing sharks seemingly attracted to them has caused a few divers to pee on themselves! :)

fisheater
November 22nd, 2009, 11:59 PM
Now, to turn the statement around, I've heard that seeing sharks seemingly attracted to them has caused a few divers to pee on themselves! :)

And worse!!!

Noboundaries
November 23rd, 2009, 12:30 AM
The only guy I'd worry about who pees in his wetsuit is the dude who takes fish oil supplements. Just might make the shark wonder if there's a new neoprene coated menu item in the water.

Just kidding, of course.

Maybe.

JLambus
January 16th, 2010, 11:13 PM
Yes it attracts sharks.

dktexas54
March 25th, 2010, 06:26 PM
Yes it attracts sharks.

Please explain your very matter of fact answer. I am interested in your take.

Thanks,
d

AfterDark
March 25th, 2010, 06:45 PM
Which comes 1st the shark or the pee? :) Last time I saw a shark it took a big dump and sped off into the deep green.

drbill
March 26th, 2010, 11:11 AM
I'm no expert on mammalian urine (despite peeing in my wetsuit much of the time), but as a marine biologist I am aware that at least some species of sharks that feed on marine mammals can detect the difference between human and marine mammal blood. My guess is they can do likewise with urine. On top of that, many sharks feed on fish and I'm taking a WAG here that mammalian urine wouldn't do much for them!

Hank49
March 26th, 2010, 04:54 PM
I'm going with BS on that. If you really want to attract sharks just get a speargun and pop a few fish. The sharks will be there shortly.

And this is something I've always wondered about. If fish dying on a spear, and trembling like they do attracts sharks, which it certainly seems to do in my experience, what about if you're cold under water and shivering? Will the shock waves from that attract them?

wrybosome
March 26th, 2010, 05:01 PM
I'm no expert on mammalian urine

Good to know!


I'm thinking that the scientific approach here would be to conduct an experiment in which a diver went for dives in known sharky areas like NorCal, the Red Sea, South Africa, etc and peed/didn't pee their suit. Then count shark sightings. There would need to be many dives at each location to get a good correlation.

Once you have the grant money together I'd be happy to volunteer as the bait.

LIVES4SHARKS
March 30th, 2010, 03:28 AM
I think Mythbusters should investigate that one during Shark Week this year! I think I will send them an email!:shark:

Carolyn:shark2:

DA Aquamaster
March 30th, 2010, 07:51 AM
I don't know about sharks, but I had a remora fall in love with me for a few minutes after I peed in my wet suit. It seemed to attract him/her/it.

WVDiver
March 30th, 2010, 05:05 PM
I think Mythbusters should investigate that one during Shark Week this year! I think I will send them an email!:shark:

Carolyn:shark2:
If they need divers just let me know. :D:D:D

BIGSAGE136
March 30th, 2010, 05:54 PM
I go with BS on that one. It doesn't work with me. Unless its the garlic!....Or maybe the rum :rofl3:

j yaeger
March 30th, 2010, 05:56 PM
i'm in!!!!!!
....i just can't be in the"no pee" group.....;)

Luku
March 30th, 2010, 06:15 PM
Think about it this way, sharks follow scents (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19030980/ns/technology_and_science-science/), Fact.

According to that article, sharks follow scents "to locate food, mates and home sites". Some sharks could also be classified as "sharp sighted, curious animals, prone to taking "taste tests" of unfamiliar objects that catch their eye" (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/01/0123_040123_tvgreatwhiteshark.html).

Just knowing those two things why would someone say urine (it has a scent) couldn't possibly attract a shark. If there's a possibility, why do it unless you really do want to see sharks.

:offtopic: Now about peeing in wetsuits in general, I'm not going to make many friends with this but it's been my experience that when people pee in their wetsuits, their wetsuits stink, the fluids running down the boat deck when they take their wetsuits off stinks, makes the boat stink, and they stink afterwards too...you can say it's just gross IMO...sorry pee people. :yuck: :focus:

BigBothersom
March 30th, 2010, 06:31 PM
So what? I dive in Palau every year surrounded by sharks. Its warm, so I don't bother with a wetsuit and pee in the water all the time.

Luku
March 30th, 2010, 06:51 PM
So what? I dive in Palau every year surrounded by sharks. Its warm, so I don't bother with a wetsuit and pee in the water all the time.

It doesn't matter in some places, but if you are trying to do a "Blackwater" or "Pelagic Magic" dive it could matter, meaning if to many sharks show up on those dives it gets canceled. Those particular dives aren't cheap to go on, and there is usually no refund. Divers are warned ahead of time. So reducing the chances of sharks showing up is important to some Divemasters.

idocsteve
March 30th, 2010, 07:10 PM
I bet that whole "pee in your wetsuit attracts sharks" thing was something contrived and perpetuated by dive shops who are sick and tired of hosing down piss filled rental wetsuits.

lemondiver
April 21st, 2010, 01:39 AM
no sharks are not attracked by urine.

Peter_C
April 21st, 2010, 02:05 AM
no sharks are not attracked by urine.
Are you positive about that, and if so what proof do you have?

"sharks have an acute sense of smell and are attracted to blood and urine"
Facts (not spin) on Hawaii's Sharks (http://sailhawaii.com/sharks.htm)

ibj40
April 21st, 2010, 10:29 AM
I was watching one of Jonathon Bird's episodes the other day, and he had one where sharks were feeding on whale feces. Not sure what the correlation is, but I'll stick with just peeing.

:mooner:

Theunis
April 23rd, 2010, 04:36 AM
T

:offtopic: Now about peeing in wetsuits in general, I'm not going to make many friends with this but it's been my experience that when people pee in their wetsuits, their wetsuits stink, the fluids running down the boat deck when they take their wetsuits off stinks, makes the boat stink, and they stink afterwards too...you can say it's just gross IMO...sorry pee people. :yuck: :focus:

I'm 100% with you on this one!

I have NEVER urinated in my wetsuit before and why would I?:confused:
I mean, it's not like we are all diving for 3 or 4 hours non-stop. Why don't the "wetsuit urinaters" do their thing prior to submerging? What happens when you want to defecate then...do you dump it in your wetsuit as well?:dontknow::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3:

TechBlue
April 23rd, 2010, 06:06 AM
Think about it this way, sharks follow scents (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19030980/ns/technology_and_science-science/), Fact.

According to that article, sharks follow scents "to locate food, mates and home sites". Some sharks could also be classified as "sharp sighted, curious animals, prone to taking "taste tests" of unfamiliar objects that catch their eye" (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/01/0123_040123_tvgreatwhiteshark.html).

Just knowing those two things why would someone say urine (it has a scent) couldn't possibly attract a shark. If there's a possibility, why do it unless you really do want to see sharks.

:offtopic: Now about peeing in wetsuits in general, I'm not going to make many friends with this but it's been my experience that when people pee in their wetsuits, their wetsuits stink, the fluids running down the boat deck when they take their wetsuits off stinks, makes the boat stink, and they stink afterwards too...you can say it's just gross IMO...sorry pee people. :yuck: :focus:

Human blood does not attract sharks because we are not currently part of their food chain (although that will change if we keep on overfishing they will quickly discover we are easy prey) so I don't see what pee is going to do.

Luku
April 23rd, 2010, 06:19 AM
Human blood does not attract sharks because we are not currently part of their food chain

The sailors / survivors of the USS Indianapolis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_%28CA-35%29) beg to differ with you.

TechBlue
April 23rd, 2010, 06:35 AM
The sailors / survivors of the USS Indianapolis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_%28CA-35%29) beg to differ with you.
The link doesn't seem to have any content?
That was a sad and terrible event, these were oceanic white tips as I recall, sharks are scavengers and they will find easy prey, the unfortunate sailors were in the water for a long, long time. I still stand by my statement that we are not part of their food chain and human blood does not attract sharks.

I am not saying that sharks will not eat people as obviously this has happened but if we were part of their natural food chain you would be reading about a lot more shark attacks. I have personally been diving with them for years (knock on wood) and I am here to tel the tale. Just think how many people pee in the ocean when they are swimming and sharks are there all the time.

Luku
April 23rd, 2010, 06:43 AM
I still stand by my statement that we are not part of their food chain and human blood does not attract sharks.

What do you think attracted the sharks, diesel fuel?

If you really believe that statement I encourage you to do a Hawaiian shark dive, without the luxury of a shark cage.

TechBlue
April 23rd, 2010, 06:57 AM
What do you think attracted the sharks, diesel fuel?

If you really believe that statement I encourage you to do a Hawaiian shark dive, without the luxury of a shark cage.

You seem locked in on your beliefs so just don't pee in your wetsuit, I am not going to debate ad infinitum with you on this.

The sharks did not attack as soon as the men were in the water it took a while for them to figure out that they were prey. They are scavengers and they do what they do very well.

I was diving with Great Whites, and spearfishing with Raggies, Zambezis and Tigers in SA without a cage years before the hype of cage diving started. In California in the kelp we dive with sharks all the time. Virtually every beach has sharks it is their territory. In the Carolinas we dive with sand tigers every ocean in the world has sharks and we dive with them all the time.

Regarding your statement about cage diving when we start messing with sharks and chumming we are going to get them excited once again we are interferring with nature, in their natural habitat for the most part they do not consider us part of the food chain which is why a lot of people survive shark attacks because they spit us out.

Luku
April 23rd, 2010, 01:41 PM
Thank you for revising your original statement of:

we are not currently part of their food chain
to:

for the most part they do not consider us part of the food chain we are now in agreement.

smellzlikefish
April 23rd, 2010, 07:32 PM
Hey Luku-I've done the Hawaiian shark dive without the cage. No biggie. My friend even hitched a ride on the dorsal fin of a big galapagos shark.

Oceanic whitetips (and many pelagic sharks in general) are attracted to anything different in the water because there really isn't much else. One person peeing in their wetsuit is probably not enough to attract sharks over many miles, but hundreds of sailors peeing in the water combined with the oil and excitement of a shipwreck is bound to draw some attention.

Peter_C
April 23rd, 2010, 07:42 PM
One person peeing in their wetsuit is probably not enough to attract sharks over many miles, but hundreds of sailors peeing in the water combined with the oil and excitement of a shipwreck is bound to draw some attention.
One of the largest attractants in that case is going to be vomit. Many of the soldiers started getting delirious and drinking the salt water that caused them to vomit. That is a known attractant of sharks.

There really is only one shark that eats mammals as it's primary diet in adulthood and that is the Great White shark. For those that claim to have done shark dives without a cage, was that in the Landlords territory? If not then it probably doesn't count.

Bull sharks eat pretty much anything, and Tigers take bites out of any potential food. I would venture to guess a Great White is more predictable, and less likely to bite a human, but I am not willing to be part of any experiment, other than diving in the Red Triangle 90% of the time.

Luku
April 23rd, 2010, 08:37 PM
I'll quote myself since we at the point in this thread where I need to repeat myself.


It doesn't matter in some places, but if you are trying to do a "Blackwater" or "Pelagic Magic" dive it could matter, meaning if to many sharks show up on those dives it gets canceled. Those particular dives aren't cheap to go on, and there is usually no refund. Divers are warned ahead of time. So reducing the chances of sharks showing up is important to some Divemasters.

When a group of divers (not in a cage) are being circled by several Oceanic Whitetips when the boat is miles off shore in the middle of the night and Pacific, the prudent thing to do is to pull the divers. Especially when the Oceanic's are seen arching their backs and lowering their pectoral fins.

Reducing the chances of seeing sharks is in everyone's best interest when diving these particular dives. If something could have the slightest possibly to attract sharks cautious dive ops and DM's recommend against doing it.

Discharging of any bodily fluids (vomit, urine, and blood for example) when doing these dives is usually discouraged for the above mentioned reasons.


One person peeing in their wetsuit is probably not enough to attract sharks over many miles

That's a big "probably" to risk a dive over.

Hey, pee all you want or, like someone else said, crap in your wetsuit for all I care. The boat crew will still get paid if the divers get pulled or not. Are you so stubborn about needing to pee in your wetsuit that you are willing to risk your dive and everyone else's.

Doubler
April 23rd, 2010, 09:18 PM
Well sorry I don't have any links to back it up but I was recently told by a well respected Divemaster that urine is a sign of distress to sharks in deep, open ocean waters. We were doing an open ocean night dive over about 8,000' of water off the coast of Hawaii. We did see sharks but I SWEAR it wasn't me that peed in the water. :D You can read the trip report here. Whether it had anything to do with someone in the dive party peeing or not is up for discussion.

I had never heard this claim before this and didn't take much stock in the claim at the time. But after confronting an Oceanic Whitetip I can't help but wonder.

At any rate having dived many different and varied geographic locations and conditions I can not say that this statement is consistent with my own observations. I would venture to guess that for most of the diving community at large, diving in relatively shallow waters, relatively close to shore, it should not be a matter of great concern.


http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/hawaii-ohana/312813-trip-report-big-island-divers-black-water-night-dive.html

I read the post to which you are referring and I believe your DM is completly wrong. As I recall they divers were on a night dive, open ocean, very deep water and the DM was banging on his tank to point out things to the divers. Oceanic White Tips are the first to respond to ship disasters because they are very sensitive to sound. I don't believe peeing in a wetsuit had anything to do with the attraction. It was "ringing the dinner bell" and probably the high frequency sound of strobes charging up that attracted them. They feel the vibrations of underwater explosions for miles and swim to it looking for a meal. About a year ago I was watching a program with divers off of Oahu diving with OWT's, everything was going just fine until a diver turned on his strobe. That shark nailed that strobe in about two micro seconds. Getting in the water with OWT, at night, banging tanks and charging up strobes is an accident waiting to happen IMHO.

smellzlikefish
April 23rd, 2010, 09:23 PM
"Especially when the Oceanics are seen arching their backs and lowering their pectoral fins."

This is a common misconception and grates at my ears when I hear it. It seems everytime I hear of someone new seeing a shark, they include the line "and it dropped it pec fins and arched its back." There are two reasons a shark might bite a human. 1) the diver has gotten too close and the shark wants to fend them off, in which case the shark will put up a warning display. I have dived with hundreds of sharks of every ilk and have seen this display twice. 2) The shark sees the diver as potential food, as in the case of the oceanic whitetips, in which case it doesn't make sense to warn the diver that they will be eaten.

I have also been on the blackwater dive and agree with the majority. The number of people peeing in their suits every day without issues is a statistic that speaks for itself. In fact, if anything is attracting the oceanics to the blackwater dives, it is the presence of the boat itself. The lights attracting the plankton, the lines giving fish cover, the divers, the splashing, all this makes for plenty of cues to attract sharks. You are basically creating a temporary FAD every time you go out. The effect that a bit of urine will have is negligible. It is a risk most people who go on these things are willing to take but they are billed as a bit out of the ordinary. If you don't want to go on the blackwater dive, then don't.

You seem to have an agenda against peeing in wetsuits. To me, it is a personal choice instilled when I was diving colder water and it served as a way to initially warm the water in the suit. Some people decide what they are going to believe first, then go looking for proof without ever questioning again if they are right.

Luku
April 24th, 2010, 04:44 PM
"Especially when the Oceanics are seen arching their backs and lowering their pectoral fins."

This is a common misconception and grates at my ears when I hear it. It seems everytime I hear of someone new seeing a shark, they include the line "and it dropped it pec fins and arched its back."

The Scientific Advisory Committee for this Foundation.

Facts on the Shark Foundation (http://www.shark.ch/Foundation/SharkFoundation/index.html#1003)

The quote: "Potentially dangerous species. Galapagos sharks perform a "hunch" threat display, with an arched back, raised head, and lowered caudal and pectoral fins, while swimming in a conspicuous twisting, rolling motion."

Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) (http://www.shark.ch/Database/Search/species.html?sh_id=1006)

Oceanic Whitetips display a similar behavior, I've personally seen it.

Please support your claim that this is a "common misconception".


In fact, if anything is attracting the oceanics to the blackwater dives, it is the presence of the boat itself.

I agree that the boat "could" attract, but are you going to swim 3-5 miles out to do a Blackwater dive? The boat is one part of the equation that kind of needs to stay, rowboat maybe, seaplane?


You seem to have an agenda against peeing in wetsuits.
No agenda, so long as I don't have to walk in their pee when they take their wetsuits off on-board the boat.

Other things attracting sharks:

Photo flashes - possibly, but people aren't going to spend $150 - $200 bucks on a dive if they can't take some photos.

Tank banging - the DM's I know just wiggle lights at customers to get their attention.

Wiggling lights - possibly, but most people aren't going to do a night dive in the middle of the Pacific with out a dive light.

sailingk8
April 25th, 2010, 02:21 PM
A couple of points:

Stop pissing in the ocean - polluters! (totally kidding!)

Has anyone actually read that a shark attacked because an individual had a pee in the ocean? Hell maybe that's why all those shark are attacking the swimmers at the beach! You know, all those people who surreptitiously wander in thigh deep just to have a pee. Sharks just LOVE that! Yum! "Hey Bruce, this one's all yours Mate!"

A lot of things attract shark but it's what they think when they get there that counts and what kind of shark they are (I personally would not trust a Oceanic to not have a taste were I out in the middle of the ocean, on the surface and say flailing about, pissing myself with fear. It's a big ocean, not many baby whale left. "Oh look is that a baby whale flailing about over there?)

Face it, if you're in the water with a shark whether or not you have a pee isn't really going to make much difference. Shark don't like the taste of people. Yes they some times have a nibble or an out right mouthful but that is because they get confused, (ate too much sushi the night before and not quite thinking straight today).
"Oops damn, just took a bite of that human garbage again! Bruce ya bastard, why didn't you warn me that wasn't a seal!"

;)

smellzlikefish
April 25th, 2010, 04:55 PM
Your agenda:

" Now about peeing in wetsuits in general, I'm not going to make many friends with this but it's been my experience that when people pee in their wetsuits, their wetsuits stink, the fluids running down the boat deck when they take their wetsuits off stinks, makes the boat stink, and they stink afterwards too...you can say it's just gross IMO...sorry pee people. "

This is non-negotiable as you have presented your bias.

Your sources

I applaud your attempts to learn something by going straight to the experts. Any organization headed up by Dr. Compagno, Dr. Mahmood, and the Guy Harvey Research Institute is a-okay. I’m afraid you may have misread their information and/or didn’t get the whole story.

What you describe is a “threat display” initiated by an animal that is threatened, not one that is hungry. There is a big difference in displays (Barlow 1974, Johnson and Nelson, 1973). The urine in the water could potentially contribute to attracting a shark that has food on its mind. Sharks, however, have no reason to swim up to a boat in the blue to start displaying threat postures. The gray reef sharks in these studies had territories on the reef that they were protecting from the potential threat of the divers, but then, gray reef sharks don’t move around very much. Unless you jumped into the water on top of an oceanic whitetip, I doubt very much that it felt threatened.

As for your claim that you saw one do it, I’m sorry but anyone who dares someone to go swimming with the Galapagos sharks at Haleiwa does not constitute a credible source on interpreting shark behavior.

My sources

These are the original, peer-reviewed papers on which your web sites are based. I have others if you are interested, but these are the foundational papers describing that behavior while also making a clear distinction between feeding and responding to an intruder.

Barlow, G. 1974. Derivation of Threat Display in the Gray Reef Shark. Marine Behavior Physiology. 3: 71-81.

Johnson, R. and Nelson, D. 1973. Agonistic display in the gray reef shark, Carcharhinus menisorrah, and its relationship to attacks on man. Copeia. 76-84.

Luku
April 25th, 2010, 09:39 PM
Your agenda:

" Now about peeing in wetsuits in general, I'm not going to make many friends with this but it's been my experience that when people pee in their wetsuits, their wetsuits stink, the fluids running down the boat deck when they take their wetsuits off stinks, makes the boat stink, and they stink afterwards too...you can say it's just gross IMO...sorry pee people. "

This is non-negotiable as you have presented your bias.
Actually thatís not an agenda; it is neither a list, nor plan of things to do. It is simply an observation of my experiences and my personal opinion. A bias, so what, I expressed it as an opinion (thatís what IMO (In My Opinion) means btw (by the way)). Iím not sure of the reason behind the accusation, pretty much everyone on SB (ScubaBoard) has an opinion.

I applaud your attempts to learn something by going straight to the experts. Any organization headed up by Dr. Compagno, Dr. Mahmood, and the Guy Harvey Research Institute is a-okay.
Good to know it meets with your approval; I was worried there for a few.

Unless you jumped into the water on top of an oceanic whitetip, I doubt very much that it felt threatened.
Thanks for your opinion. Personally Iíll err on the side of caution unless you have a source to back up that claim.


My sources
These are the original, peer-reviewed papers on which your web sites are based. I have others if you are interested, but these are the foundational papers describing that behavior while also making a clear distinction between feeding and responding to an intruder.
Barlow, G. 1974. Derivation of Threat Display in the Gray Reef Shark. Marine Behavior Physiology. 3: 71-81.
Johnson, R. and Nelson, D. 1973. Agonistic display in the gray reef shark, Carcharhinus menisorrah, and its relationship to attacks on man. Copeia. 76-84.
I donít have time to sift through pages of reports to back up a claim YOU made, just find me something like, ďwhen a shark is hunched and its pecs are down (threat display), it is perfectly safe to be in the water with them itís simply a "common misconception" that they are dangerous Ē find me something similar and Iíll believe you.
In the meantime Iíll interpret a ďthreat displayĒ like for any other animal, and steer clear of them; in a sharkís case, Iíll "back down" and get out of the water.

When a larger or more dominant animal makes a threat display, a younger or more submissive animal usually backs down, and violence is averted. A low growl accompanied by a stare is an unmistakable threat display used by many large mammals. A common threat display for the dog is a low growl, with ears laid back and teeth bared. Cats have a threat display also: they stare, make a low growling sound, and adopt a posture that indicates they may attack. If seriously threatened, they hiss, arch their backs, and fluff their fur in the classic "cat fight" posture. Such a display might be considered a fear display as much as a threat display. Fear and threat displays are often similar.

Threat, Fear, and Intention movements | in Chapter 08: Animals | from Psychology: An Introduction by Russ Dewey (http://www.psywww.com/intropsych/ch08_animals/threat_fear_and_intention_movements.html)

smellzlikefish
April 26th, 2010, 02:49 PM
I'm familiar with TLA's (three letter acronyms), but if you have a bias (or an opinion) that directly conflicts with your opinion on the topic, your argument appears to others as irrational and self-serving.

On the valid points: Once again you seem to be misinterpreting what you read. If a shark makes a threat display, you should move away. We are in agreement. Our argument is in the circumstances under which the display occurs. Now I'll read for you so you can hopefully learn something from all this without having to work too hard.

"sharks may attack a swimmer for reasons other than hunger...The shark is territorial and may be responding to a diver as an intruder."-Barlow, 1974 First paragraph of paper

For more information:
"This display has been observed in sharks apparently in conflict between approaching and withdrawing from a diver. The display is increasingly likely, or given in a more fully developed form, as the escape route of the shark is progressively more cut off. Similar threat displays occur in related sharks under comparable conditions."-Barlow, 1974 First paragraph, second section.

He goes on to talk for a while about how the display is likely an interspecies communication and that it is likely evolutionarily derived from a feeding response. However nowhere is it mentioned that these warnings occur before feeding. Again, it is not prudent to warn an animal before you dine on them.

Theunis
April 27th, 2010, 12:54 AM
I did 33 non-caged shark dives on the Protea Banks, KwaZulu-Natal, SA during the last few years and have seen many Bull, Tiger and other species of sharks. Only once did I see a Bull shark arching its back and lowering its pectorals. This Bull was agitated and made a few vertical descends and ascends while displaying its arched back and lowered pecs. We were ascending after a 40 meter dive and still had deco obligations. Getting out was not an option. Furthermore getting out of the area is not an option due to the fact that these dives are all drift dives in a current moving at 3 to 4 knots...you can't go anywhere.

Getting back to urinating in your wetsuit.....I don't know if this attracts sharks or not, but I do know that divers who do urinate in their wetsuits stinks! I was wondering, do you also urinate in dry-suits?

fisheater
April 27th, 2010, 01:02 AM
Getting back to urinating in your wetsuit.....I don't know if this attracts sharks or not, but I do know that divers who do urinate in their wetsuits stinks! I was wondering, do you also urinate in dry-suits?

Heck yes! That's what pee valves are for.

BigBothersom
April 27th, 2010, 08:10 PM
It doesn't matter in some places, but if you are trying to do a "Blackwater" or "Pelagic Magic" dive it could matter, meaning if to many sharks show up on those dives it gets canceled. Those particular dives aren't cheap to go on, and there is usually no refund. Divers are warned ahead of time. So reducing the chances of sharks showing up is important to some Divemasters.
If a divemaster canceled my dive trip because 'too many sharks showed up' I'd use his ass as chum for the next dive. I go to Palau every year, and I go for one reason...to dive with sharks and mantas, and as many of them as possible.
Oh, and for the record, I'm against chumming and shark feeding.
I'll say it again, I don't believe for a second that sharks are attracted to our urine. I've been peeing around them for years. :eyebrow:
Sharks didn't survive millions of years ('thousands' to our creationist friends) by being stupid.

Peter_C
April 28th, 2010, 01:47 AM
I'll say it again, I don't believe for a second that sharks are attracted to our urine. I've been peeing around them for years. :eyebrow:
Have you tried that theory around a Great White shark yet, the only routine mammal eating shark :confused:

I too believe my pee-valve in my drysuit is awesome! What better way to hopefully one day catch a glimpse of a Great White shark.

smellzlikefish
April 28th, 2010, 07:20 PM
"Have you tried that theory around a Great White shark yet, the only routine mammal eating shark"

Are they? We don't really know what they're eating when the California populations heads out to the middle of the Pacific, and I read one article (based on pure speculation) that they might even attack giant squids.

For some variety, Galapagos Sharks in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are known to crowd the beaches during monk seal pupping season for mammals, too.

BigBothersom
May 3rd, 2010, 11:46 AM
Have you tried that theory around a Great White shark yet, the only routine mammal eating shark :confused:



I've yet to dive around great whites, but I will, and when I do I expect it will be in South Africa or Guadeloupe and that being the case I wont be wearing swim shorts and a dive skin, so peeing wont be an issue. Again, I've dived in waters where I have been literally surrounded by more sharks than I could count in Palau, and while video taping them within a few feet of me they never showed the least bit of interest in my meat or my urine.

TechBlue
May 3rd, 2010, 01:08 PM
Have you tried that theory around a Great White shark yet, the only routine mammal eating shark :confused:

I too believe my pee-valve in my drysuit is awesome! What better way to hopefully one day catch a glimpse of a Great White shark.

Seals not humans, why would urine attract shark?

Peter_C
May 3rd, 2010, 02:16 PM
I've yet to dive around great whites
Then your theory doesn't count until you do so around Great Whites. Please let us know how it goes when you do get to dive with them :D

Seals not humans, why would urine attract shark?
I am only so curious to know why sharks are attracted to urine, but the logical answer would be because they are hungry and it leads them to food. Feel free to research it and get back to us.


I will repost two of my previous links for those that quickly passed over them and ignored them without comment. Find something in writing proving them wrong or at least come up with something that scientifically shows that they are wrong :cool2:

"sharks have an acute sense of smell and are attracted to blood and urine"
Facts (not spin) on Hawaii's Sharks (http://sailhawaii.com/sharks.htm)


"3) Do not urinate in water while swimming or surfing. Recent studies show that great
white sharks in particular are attracted to the scent of urine. It is believed that homing in
on the scent of mammalian urine is one way they track down sea mammals."
Shark attack facts (http://www.sharkconspiracies.net/Shark%20Conspiracies/Shark%20Conspiracies%20Home_files/List%20to%20Avoid%20Attack.pdf)

idocsteve
May 3rd, 2010, 02:34 PM
6 pages about pissing in the water.

Folks the average dive is a half hour to 45 minutes. If you've got such poor bladder control that you just have to let go in your wetsuit maybe there are bigger issues here.

Maybe we should start a thread about whether or not it's ok to take a dump in the back of a city bus as long as you clean up after yourself.

TechBlue
May 3rd, 2010, 02:39 PM
Then your theory doesn't count until you do so around Great Whites. Please let us know how it goes when you do get to dive with them :D

I am only so curious to know why sharks are attracted to urine, but the logical answer would be because they are hungry and it leads them to food. Feel free to research it and get back to us.


I will repost two of my previous links for those that quickly passed over them and ignored them without comment. Find something in writing proving them wrong or at least come up with something that scientifically shows that they are wrong :cool2:

Your links are pretty generic so I would not constitute them as "fact" I have dived with Great Whites in SA and did urinate through my pee valve and also while wearing a wetsuit. Human blood does not attract sharks the reference to menstrual cycles is inaccurate.

I will qualify all statements by also adding that the shark is such a perfect design that they have barely changed through more than 8 million years of evolution. If we continue to overfish the waters they will find an alternate source of prey, this has been evidenced in certain areas of Australia where Great Whites have actually started hunting together and have taken double strikes on surfers, it shouldn't take too long before they figure out divers are easy meat.

Peter_C
May 3rd, 2010, 03:17 PM
Folks the average dive is a half hour to 45 minutes. If you've got such poor bladder control that you just have to let go in your wetsuit maybe there are bigger issues here.
Our average dives are all close to or over an hour, with some being almost two hours. We also dive drysuits locally and will often get hot suiting up so water intake is very important. Therefore peeing while diving is a requirement. Personally I do not pee in my wetsuit. Yuck!

Your links are pretty generic so I would not constitute them as "fact" I have dived with Great Whites in SA and did urinate through my pee valve and also while wearing a wetsuit. Human blood does not attract sharks the reference to menstrual cycles is inaccurate.
For clarification I never said they were facts. Just information. Seems that there isn't anything disputing it though, other than hearsay.


I will qualify all statements by also adding that the shark is such a perfect design that they have barely changed through more than 8 million years of evolution. If we continue to overfish the waters they will find an alternate source of prey, this has been evidenced in certain areas of Australia where Great Whites have actually started hunting together and have taken double strikes on surfers, it shouldn't take too long before they figure out divers are easy meat.
As long as shark finning continues that won't be a problem :depressed: The Great Whites are starting to make a come back, and you are correct, at some point since we decimated our local salmon runs, and now the sea lions are following fish out of the area, we may start seeing a change in their habits. Plus there are more people venturing into their territory.

TechBlue
May 3rd, 2010, 03:57 PM
Our average dives are all close to or over an hour, with some being almost two hours. We also dive drysuits locally and will often get hot suiting up so water intake is very important. Therefore peeing while diving is a requirement. Personally I do not pee in my wetsuit. Yuck!

For clarification I never said they were facts. Just information. Seems that there isn't anything disputing it though, other than hearsay.


As long as shark finning continues that won't be a problem :depressed: The Great Whites are starting to make a come back, and you are correct, at some point since we decimated our local salmon runs, and now the sea lions are following fish out of the area, we may start seeing a change in their habits. Plus there are more people venturing into their territory.

Pete,

I can only stand by my own personal experience, I never thought twice about peeing I have dived a lot with sharks of may species and intend to continue doing so.

They are beautiful creatures and perfect at what they do, the truth of the matter is that we are guests in their world and when they choose to change the relationship there is little that we can do.

I only hope that they do not get persecuting for doing what comes naturally to them

BigBothersom
May 10th, 2010, 10:36 AM
Then your theory doesn't count until you do so around Great Whites. Please let us know how it goes when you do get to dive with them :D


Hmmm, you're not the tallest tree in the forest, but you're certainly the thickest. I have many roles to play in this life, but spending my time proving to you that sharks crave human piss isn't one of them. I don't have a theory. I simply don't believe your nonsense. And this isn't a research facility. Its a internet forum. My 'opinion' is based on my experience diving around thousands of sharks over the years. I didn't see any great whites, but that doesn't mean they didn't see me. All I know is I have never been bitten by a shark. You seem to think you're an intelligent fellow interested in proving and disproving theories based on one single species of shark. So why don't YOU go dive cageless around some great whites, make sure you don't pee, and then come back and you tell ME if you were bitten or not.

Meanwhile, stick to basing your nonsensical theories on low budget direct to DVD Movies about sharks who notice a woman on the beach is having her period so they swim 2,000 miles and eat all the swimmers in one big gulp, especially the ones who are peeing. :shakehead:

Peter_C
May 10th, 2010, 11:39 AM
Sensitive are we? You must have missed the smiley at the end of my post that you quoted.

I dive in the red triangle for 95% of my dives and pee on about 70% of them. Never seen a Great White myself *shrugs*. They have seen me... I dove Saturday right where Marco Flagg was attacked underwater, while scuba diving.

There is more evidence on the internet that shows urine attracts sharks than evidence disproving it. I would love (Really I would) to see facts on the matter myself. No one can come up with anything though.

smellzlikefish
May 10th, 2010, 02:37 PM
This is certainly not the first time someone has thought of urine as an attractant, but I did a quick primary literature search and it seems that science doesn't take the theory serious enough to try it, either. With the shark finning industry, shark diving industry, and scientists all looking for ways to attract sharks, somebody would have thought of it and tried it.

One final note before I go back to reality, urine is a chemical that can be used to track down an organism, but too much will kill a shark. Some species are very sensitive to ammonia and go belly up fairly quickly in an aquarium with any traceable amounts. Aquariums tend to accumulate pollutants such as ammonia faster than the ocean but that said, some sharks are more sensitive than other aquarium fish. So a little bit MIGHT point them at living organisms, but there is certainly a concentration at which urine is lethal.

BigBothersom
May 15th, 2010, 10:04 PM
Sensitive are we? You must have missed the smiley at the end of my post that you quoted.

I dive in the red triangle for 95% of my dives and pee on about 70% of them. Never seen a Great White myself *shrugs*. They have seen me... I dove Saturday right where Marco Flagg was attacked underwater, while scuba diving.

There is more evidence on the internet that shows urine attracts sharks than evidence disproving it. I would love (Really I would) to see facts on the matter myself. No one can come up with anything though.

There is no such evidence supporting the ridiculous notion that urine attracts sharks.
Just saying it exists doesn't make it so.
I'm not sensitive, I just don't suffer fools gladly, and your smiley doesn't mask your sarcasm or your arrogance.
Oh...I almost forgot...:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Hank49
May 16th, 2010, 08:54 AM
This is certainly not the first time someone has thought of urine as an attractant, but I did a quick primary literature search and it seems that science doesn't take the theory serious enough to try it, either. With the shark finning industry, shark diving industry, and scientists all looking for ways to attract sharks, somebody would have thought of it and tried it.

One final note before I go back to reality, urine is a chemical that can be used to track down an organism, but too much will kill a shark. Some species are very sensitive to ammonia and go belly up fairly quickly in an aquarium with any traceable amounts. Aquariums tend to accumulate pollutants such as ammonia faster than the ocean but that said, some sharks are more sensitive than other aquarium fish. So a little bit MIGHT point them at living organisms, but there is certainly a concentration at which urine is lethal.

KInd of like...the smell of a bbq will make you hungry and draw you in close...but if you put yourself with a bbq in a small, closed room, the smoke will kill you?

I pee in my wetsuit a lot because I hydrate my self really well and stay in the water for 3-4 hours free diving. I can't NOT pee in that amount of time.
Nothing brings in sharks like a vibrating fish on the end of a spear. They may be able to sense blood or urine at parts per million but my urine in the ocean is in parts per ka jillion. (a jillion times parts per 100 billion. )

ACT651755
June 4th, 2010, 06:33 AM
I've urinated in my wetsuit in the immediate vicinity of Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks and Blacktips and none altered their behaviour toward me or any of the other divers. This is a myth.

All that matters in the presence of sharks is your body language, and keeping yourself calm.

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