Going Tribal Drums on Some Sharkies

I have the most awesome friends. They are always looking out for me. They really are.

For example, my friend Emilia recently made me aware of this fine product, along with her astute observation that “apparently tribal techno music is just perfect for shark repelling…??!”: (I’m trying to insert a video here. First time. Let’s see if it works.)

Based on cutting edge research (O’Connell et al, 2008, 2009, submitted), Repel Shark anklets create a permanent magnetic field near your feet that is repellent to sharks. Good in low visibility water and where lemon sharks, southern stingrays, nurse sharks, and blacktip sharks are encountered. Male, female, and unisex styles are available. All feature non-corroding magnets, our exclusive magnet bushings (a total of six magnets per anklet!!), and clasps. Fit is adjustable using chain links.

That’s all well and good but what about REAL sharks, like tiger sharks and great whites. You know, the ones that can eat you? If I’m going to wear some ugly, utilitarian, unisex anklet, I’d like some protection against those other types of sharks too, please.

So, I went in search of better shark repellents and holy sharp teeth there are a LOT of shark repellents out there! A lot of them rely on magnetic and/or electrical pulses, some chemical.

The Sharkstopper proudly proclaims that it is “the first and only acoustic shark repellent in the world.” Every time I read that, I can’t help but picture a shark with a guitar singing that 90s power ballad “More Than Words” by the not-so-aptly named Extreme.

I cannot tell you how much I love this picture. Probably more than words.

Oh, and hey, Sharkstopper is looking for investors, so go ahead and get in there and give these guys some money! You can just fill out the contact us form on their website: Subject: Butt Tons of Free Money.

They’re also very proud of the fact that they were featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Pitch Men.” No word on how they did on the show.

Oh, wait a minute, we got ourselves a shark repellent war because according to our next shark repellent company, Sharkstopper didn’t do so hot on Pitch Men and were actually referred to as “snake oil.” Hmmmm, but does snake oil repel sharks? Cuz if so, I’m still interested.

Moving on, SharkDefense is a sunscreen that apparently uses “semiochemicals” which are chemical messengers or “clues” that sharks may use to orient, survive and reproduce in their specific environments. Apparently, certain semiochemical extractions have the ability to trigger a flight reaction in sharks.

They’re also into these gestation compounds which apparently make you very untasty. “Suction grip bites are released when a gestation compound is introduced directly into the mouth.” While that is a relief, it’s not really “repelling” the shark in the early stages like I’d prefer.

Oh, and hey, these guys are selling a 2012 wildlife calendar for $20 a pop, if you’re interested. Use their “contact us” page: Subject: Take my $20. Oh, and they don’t actually sell their product. Nope, to buy this shark repellent sunscreen, you have to go to the first guys I mentioned at the top of the page (Repel Sharks)

This product has me most excited – primarily because they’re from Australia, home of the Poe-Eating Hybrid Monster Sharks.

Sharkcamo is a low tech approach to preventing shark attacks on surfers. Taken from the principles of Mother Nature, Sharkcamo is a patented copyrighted graphic that applies to the bottom of your surf board and helps neutralise the prey reflex found in sharks that cause them to attack.”

And you can buy it right there on the website. Plus, they’re not asking you to purchase any other items. However, I’m not really sure how I’ll carry a surfboard with me while scuba diving, so this item might have limited usefulness.

Speaking of limited usefulness: I am definitely not going to invest in Shark Shield, which is a device that attaches to a surfboard and uses electrical waves to give sharks some uncomfortable muscle contractions, actually attracted some sharks instead. Including this 12-foot great white that decided to try to eat the surfboard during a test back in 2008. Here’s my favorite line from that Gizmodo story:

The manufacturer claims that it’ll work just fine as long as you aren’t surfing, paddling, or moving at all, however.

Well, apparently they’ve seen me scuba dive because there’s not much movement to that at all.

Maybe I’ll just dress up like a shark and they’ll think I’m one of them.