Steer clear of Jaws: New wetsuits, surfboard stickers can ward off sharks
By Brittany Anas
Did Shark Week give you the shivers? Or did Sharknado (and its horrible acting) induce nightmares? How about the Discovery Channel’s dramatic questioning of whether the prehistoric Megladon shark still exists? Terrifying!
If you’re a surfer — or, heck have ever just ventured into ocean waters or been on the beach building on a sand castle — we’ve got fintastic news for you. Shark Attack Mitigation Systems has worked with researchers at the Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia to develop shark deterrent wetsuits and surfboard stickers. Take that, Jaws!
The newly developed technology essentially camouflages you in the ocean so that you don’t become shark bait. The smart design considered “shark vision” — keeping in mind what predatory sharks can see at different depths, from various angles and in varying light conditions.
You can shop the shark-be-gone products at Radiator (and find coupons and deals at the store from ShopAtHome.com).
Sharks have good eyesight, but they see colors and shapes differently than humans, according to the designers of shark-deterring wetsuits. Sharks see in black and white — and the way they perceive shading is effected by the reflective spectrum. While sharks scout out their prey using neuro receptors, the researchers behind the new products say that they rely on their vision in the final attack stages. By disrupting their sight, an attack can be diverted or at least delayed to give you time to scurry to shore.
The “Elude” wetsuits help the wearer blend in — fading to the background essentially. The suits come in shades of blue.
The “Diverter” design on black and white wetsuits uses contrasting to make the surfer appear to be a danger to the shark. The design also makes the wearer look “unpalatable” — which we read as “not so tasty.” If you look closely, the black and white lines are incredibly intricate.
The Diverter stickers can be applied to your surfboard (they come in a few different sizes) to again throw off hungry sharks.
The makers of the suits and stickers say that based on their testing and research, they believe the likelihood of a shark attack can be dramatically reduced. But, of course, they warn you can never be 100 percent sure the suits will ward off attacks.
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