Smells it underwater

How can sharks smell the blood in the water so quickly?


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How can sharks smell blood in water so quickly?

This question comes from Switzerland, from Gabriel from Flawil.

The stimulus molecules for smelling are better dissolved in water than - for example - in air. So smelling underwater is also more important.

Sharks have a very special nose that can do a chemical test within a thousandth of a second.

The round, oval or elongated nostrils have so-called blind sacs, which have a heavily folded surface on the inside. This folded surface offers much more space to absorb odor particles than a smooth surface. The shark can only perceive very low concentrations of odorous substances. The water through which the shark swims simply flows in through the nostril and out on the other side. In the nose it is analyzed in a flash.

Sharks - like other animals, by the way - have a sense of smell that is around 10,000 times better than that of humans.

When sharks find their prey, it's not just because of the smell of the blood. Sharks also use sound waves to locate their prey. When fish, seals or even people paddle around wildly and fidget, they cause sound waves. These are the trigger for the sharks to swim towards their prey and look for food there. If there is a fresh smell of blood and the sight of an injured living being, the shark will attack.

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