The Ocean’s Slowest Shark

Trivia time: what is the world’s slowest shark?


the world's slowest shark's teeth!
the world’s slowest shark’s teeth!

If you guessed the Greenland shark, you’d be correct! These sharks are about 10 feet (plus) on average, but they only move at the pace of a crawling baby.  Often described as “sluggish”, and very nearly blind, these sharks have been a mystery to scientists for years.


They are the only sharks that can survive in the frigid waters of the arctic, which perhaps explains why they swim so slowly (to conserve energy for keeping organs warm enough to function).

nom nom nom. cruising along slowly.
nom nom nom. cruising along slowly.

An excellent ocean mystery about Greenland Sharks is that they have been found with Seal remains in their stomach. Why is this a mystery? Anyone who has seen a seal knows that they swim quite quickly.  How could the world’s slowest shark catch up?

Previously, it was assumed they merely scavenged dead seals, but some seals showed no signs of being consumed by other scavengers prior to the shark (like brittle stars or the like). They were, in other words, freshly dead seals.

sleeping or awake?
sleeping or awake?

A new hypothesis is that the Greenland shark moves so slowly they are actually able to sneak up on sleeping arctic seals, who sleep in the water in order to avoid polar bears.

Amazing: the slowest shark using their lack of speed to their advantage.  Like Andy hitting Dwight with his silent Prius in The (US) Office, this shark is slow and steady and can win the survival race.

How do you evolve your skills for your benefit?


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