Be Brave and Look ’em in the Eye

University study reveals that sharks find — then attack — their prey’s blind side.

Reef sharks, it seems, have a lot in common with the NFL’s Michael Oher: they blitz from the blind side.

A new study from the Shark Research Institute at the University of Western Florida shows that sharks know how to find, and then attack, their prey from the blind side. The researchers figured this out by dropping divers (in protective gear) into dense populations of Caribbean reef sharks, and then watched as the sharks swam out of the divers’ vision.

The researchers aren’t sure exactly how the sharks determine our blind side, but suffice it to say that if you’re ever in the water with them, the smart move is to maintain eye contact at all times. It appears the sharks are thinking quite a bit about what the rest of us are seeing.

“Our discovery that a shark can differentiate between the field of vision and non-field of vision of a human being, or comprehend human body orientation, raises intriguing questions not only about shark behavior, but also about the mental capacity of sharks,” researcher Erich Ritter told www.UPI.com.