You know that bloodthirsty, unhinged feeling you get after listening to really intense death metal? Well, turns out sharks get it too.
Shark tour operators in Australia have long suspected that blasting metal music through underwater speakers brings all the sharks to the yard, so to speak, but recently a team of researchers has been trying to understand exactly why.
Apparently sharks, bless ‘em, “hear” using special vibration sensors all over their bodies, and the lower the frequency, the more they seem to dig it. A Discovery Channel documentary crew violated the channel’s unspoken law by actually discovering something: playing metal into the water caused curious sharks to swim over to the boat and have a look.
Their “Bride of Jaws” feature went much more smoothly after they were able to find two other curious beasties weighing in at over a tonne each. Unfortunately they didn’t find the infamous Joan of Shark, because she presumably likes reggae or something.
The usual technique of catching a shark’s attention is pretty metal already – people can summon great whites with a mix of fish blood and guts – but the sharks seem to prefer a wicked bass hook and gnarly lyrics.
Thrash metal conveniently sounds like delicious prey thrashing in the water, which makes you feel a little bad for the shark who swims over only to find a bunch of tourists fucking with him.
Sharks are not the only critters known to have music tastes.
Musk deer can’t resist flute music and will come right over to hunters looking to relieve them of their precious musk glands, used in the perfume industry. Researchers at the University of Leicester found in 2001 that cows give more milk when they’re mellowing out to classical music and other relaxing tunes.
There’s even the species-specific Music for Dolphins, created by Shinji Kanki according to what he reckons dolphins would like to hear.