Jun 11 2008
Shark Shield, the once touted solution to our shark fears, leaves us further in doubt about our shark-resistant future. I posted a while back about a test of theirs that went as wrong as it could go when a female white shark swallowed the device whole! (post) In principle the Shark Shield is simple. Sharks use a very sensitive organ in their snout to detect minute electrical fields generated by their prey’s muscle movements conducted through the water (or in our case, the surfer’s muscle movements). Shark Shield emits an electrical field (conducted through the salt water) that would in theory startle and repel sharks. Reasonable thinking. [more after jump and a video on the device]
Popsci notes that the failure of the test has caused some scientists to wonder if the shark shield can in some cases do the exact opposite, i.e. attract sharks! Scientists also note the aggressive and/or hungry sharks could simply ignore the electrical field and charge right through it. And a third possibility is that different sharks and different shark species may not react in the same way to the field.
Sufficiently confused? To clear things up, if this shark shield is worth its salt, we’ll all know pretty quickly as there will be thirty dudes in the line-up with one, enough hopefully so the rest of us won’t have to buy one.
Here’s a picture of Hayden Panettiere and here’s Shark Shield’s promo video for the device.