The Bulletin

Australia has sharks that tweet

Posting in Science
Even sharks can't avoid social media

What lies beneath can tweet. Australian scientists have tagged more than 300 sharks with radios that notify the public when one swims nearby the shore.

Tagged sharks in Western Australia are tweeting out their location, breed and size when they come within half a mile from beaches, NPR reported yesterday. The system was devised to be a better warning system to bathers than warning signs and other traditional public notifications. It may reduce incidents of shark attacks.

Australia has the highest rate of shark attacks in the world, but attacks are still rare. Nonetheless, Australian researchers are innovating new ways to protect beachgoers.

In July, Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) partnered with the University of Western Australia's Ocean Institute to produce designs based upon scientific research into the vision of sharks. Sharks can be duped into avoiding people that wear clothing with specialized colors and patterns that sharks avoid.

SAMS is selling two models: one effectively camouflages people from sharks; another mimics nature's warning colors to turn them off from taking a nosh. The "Elude" makes it more difficult for colorblind sharks to see the wearer by blending him or her into the ocean, and the "Diverter" will make a shark think twice about pursuing people because it resembles the look of venomous sea creatures.

There’s no research on how to fool the sharks that have evolved to use Twitter. #sharkjoke

(image credits: Zedge,

— By on January 2, 2014, 5:01 PM PST

David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure