One of my favorite things about sharks is simply how many different kinds there are, and how vastly unique one species can be from another. One of the first sharks to come to mind when I think about “weird sharks” would have to be none other than the goblin shark. I’ve enjoyed learning what little snippets I could about these elusive buggers for some time now, so I was looking forward to having this excuse to research them some more. So, that said, let’s get into the fun and talk about these interesting sharks!
Despite their ghoulish name (and appearance), Goblin sharks are of the “pretty in pink” variety, ranging in color schemes from a lighter greyish pink to a strikingly vibrant dark pink as they get older. Their unique color is due to their skin being ghostly translucent due to lack of pigment, so the pink you’re seeing is actually from the shark’s blood vessels showing just beneath the skin.
If you think the goblin shark looks frightful at a glance, you should see it in action when its hungry! Utilizing a feeding method known as “slingshot feeding”, the goblin shark launches its whole friggin’ mouth forward to snatch up prey in what I can only compare to the chestburster scene in the movie Alien.
Similarly to great white sharks, goblin sharks do not do well in captivity, and the few times they have been kept in aquariums they have died shortly after arrival. 😦 This, combined with the rarity of sightings of living specimens, makes them pretty mysterious to scientists.
Despite being rarely seen by humans, goblin sharks are found in oceanic waters all around the world, but most sightings and captures have occurred off the coasts of Japan, making it little surprise that the very first specimen was discovered there in 1898. (Imagine being the first person to find such an unusual-looking shark!)
Greenland sharks are seriously interesting sharks, so I was really looking forward to doing the Info portion of this post. 🙂 I had also intended to include an illustration like I did for my recent Whale Shark Post, but 1.) Greenland sharks are kind of wonky to try to draw/color (at least for me) and 2.) My access to scanners is much more limited at the moment than I had anticipated. So thank you google images! Phew! Excuses aside, onto the info:
Greenland sharks are part of the family of sharks known as Somniosidae, more commonly known as “sleeper sharks”. As the name would imply, this group of sharks are the more mellow of the bunch, swimming at lower speeds and just being pretty “chill” in general. The Greenland shark specifically is known to be the world’s slowest shark, not even reaching 1 mile per hour.
Other names for the Greenland shark include: the “gurry shark”, “grey shark”, and “eqalussuaq“.
These guys get old. Like, realllly old. Being the longest-living of all vertebrate species, these big guys are estimated to be capable of living for anywhere between 200 to even 500 years!
Many people tend to only think of sharks living in warmer waters, but Greenland sharks prefer the cold. In fact, they can be found thriving in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters year round, making the waters around Greenland, Iceland, and Canada their home.
Comparable in size with the Great White, these predators have never been recorded to attack humans. They sustain themselves by hunting and scavenging, and have been found with some interesting things in their stomachs when caught. (One particular Greenland shark on record was even found with the body of an entire reindeer in its stomach!) Due to their slow speed, scientists were surprised that these guys were able to prey on living seals which can travel so much faster . . . until they discovered that Greenland sharks were nomming on the speedy little guys while they were sleeping under water.
Due to the depths these guys like to hang out in, their tissue is loaded with a potent neurotoxin (trimethylamine oxide) making their meat toxic. Despite this, they are still hunted for food, and through a lengthy and longstanding process involving fermentation and curing of the meat, they are not only eaten, but even considered a delicacy in Iceland.
There are loads of other awesome things to learn about these sharks whether it comes to them themselves or the mythology that surrounds them. Seriously, if you’re looking for an interesting shark to research, look no further than the Greenland shark. They may not be much to look at to most, but they truly are fascinating. 🙂
My favorite shark of all is none other than the whale shark, so of course I had to do a Shark Week post about these docile behemoths. 🙂
As their name would imply, these magnificent creatures are HUGE. On average, a mature whale shark is estimated to reach lengths of 32 feet, and to weigh in at a massive average of 20,000 pounds! (Even larger specimens than that have been recorded, though, believe it or not.) It’s no surprise that they are the largest fish in the world.
Don’t let their massive size intimidate you though, because these sharks are the gentle giants of the ocean. They’re actually filter feeders who use their giant gaping mouths to dine on plankton and some small fish and other itty bitty sea critters.
Much like how two tigers never have the same stripes, no two whale sharks have the same spot/stripe pattern.
Whale sharks have some BIG mouths. (All the better to nom on all that tasty plankton with!) A mature whale shark’s mouth is about five feet wide on average and is home to over 300 teeth. (Again, no worries about them coming up to divers for a little nibble. They’re basically giant cinnamon rolls just floating around doing their thing.) Fun Fact, though: These guys will use their giant mouths to suck out a free meal from the full nets of fishermen. I personally find this hilarious. Way to stick it to the man, whale sharks!
All in all, whale sharks rock and are to be respected for the mellow and distinguished sharks they are.
Woo! My favorite week for television is upon us: SHARK WEEK! 😀 I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but when Shark Week is on, Discovery Channel reigns supreme in my home. I love sharks (and marine life in general) so an entire week of non-stop specials about sharks is always a big plus in my book. 😉 Let the binge-watching begin!
In honor of Shark Week, I will be posting multiple shark-related posts throughout the week that I’ve been putting together. You can count on there being a couple new drawings and plenty of snazzy shark facts I thought you guys might find interesting. I’ve got several posts that shine a light on some of my favorite types of sharks. 🙂 Hopefully you will enjoy reading the posts as much as I’ve been enjoying creating them. ❤
So, how about you? Are any of you fine folks planning to partake in the “Jawsome” glory that is Shark Week? Any particular sharks you’re hoping to see and/or learn more about from this year’s specials? Ever seen or encountered a shark in real life?? Let’s talk SHARKS!! 😀
Aaaaand on a related note, I’m still attempting to catch up on reading other blogs after my recent absence. There’s so much to catch up on and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. 🙂 It’s amazing how fast you can get behind and how long it takes to try to catch up. Wish me luck! 😉
For my third entry for Cupcakes & Machetes’ Women’s History Month Blog Event I’ve decided to go with none other than Joan of Arc. (Be sure, if you haven’t already, to check out C&M’s posts here and here to see all the amazing posts about women people have been posting for the month!)
Joan of Arc is a woman who became many things despite her life ultimately being cut so short. She was born a French peasant, but would go on to become a military leader and a hero to her people. Sadly, she also ended up becoming a martyr. Eventually she would be deemed a saint and go down in history, her name and her legend living on for centuries.
Joan outlined military strategies for the French army against the English during the Hundred Years’ War, and directed troops in several victories, including breaking the siege the English had been holding over the city of Orléans for months. She became a hero to her country, and helped lead Charles VII of France to the crown.
Reputation has always been something of importance, and it was Joan’s very reputation in 1429, upon her victory at Orléans, that inspired what is known as the Bloodless March. This historic military campaign was one that stretched through English occupied territory from Gien to the Reims Cathedral (where Joan would witness the coronation of Charles VII). Along the way, Joan captured every English occupied city and fortress that barred the road, and she did it all without shedding a single drop of blood and relying only on her reputation.
Although she ultimately met a tragic end, being burned at the stake for multiple charges including witchcraft, heresy, and wearing men’s clothing, her strength and courage still lives on and inspires others to this day.
JOAN OF ARC QUOTES:
“I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”
“All battles are first won or lost, in the mind.”
“The poor folk gladly came to me, for I did them no unkindness, but helped them as much as I could.”
For my second Women’s History Month illustration, I chose to draw the ever-inspiring Harriet Tubman. I’ll be continuing to post drawings I’ve done of women who have helped shape history throughout the month as part of Cupcake & Machetes’Women’s History Month Blog Event. (Be sure to check out her post to learn all about it and maybe even join in on the fun if you haven’t already!) 😉
If you’re familiar with U.S. History, you’ve no doubt heard this heroic woman’s name. If you haven’t, or even if you just want to possibly learn more about her, let me fill you in a little on Harriet Tubman and her amazing legacy.
Harriet Tubman cemented her place in American history by fighting back against slavery and freeing not only herself, but many other enslaved people through her work with the Underground Railroad. Her awesomeness does not stop there, though. She even became an armed scout, recruiter, and Union spy during the American Civil War. She became the first woman in United States history to lead a military expedition. And she managed to do all of this after being born into slavery in 1822, in a time when not only her race, but also her gender, were things that would be exploited and used against her.
She was a leading abolitionist, and devoted her entire life to fighting for the freedom of others. Her work was far from done upon the end of the Civil War. She then proceeded to put all she had into helping former slaves, as well as the elderly. Seriously, is it even possible for this woman to get any more inspiring? ❤
HARRIET TUBMAN QUOTES:
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t cay; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”
Lately I’ve been fortunate enough to be nominated for multiple blogging awards, and I am sincerely thankful for each and every one of them. ❤
I still have the others to fill out yet but I thought I’d get started with the latest nomination from Kate, the lovely blogger behind All The Trinkets. If you haven’t yet ventured over to her blog I do highly recommend it. She’s always so nice and her blog focuses on creativity, passion and inspiration.
Display the award logo on your blog.
List the rules. Copy.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well. Wait, who created this?
Tell your readers three things about yourself.
Answer five questions from the nominator. Okie.
Nominate from 10 to 20 bloggers.
Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
Share the link to your best post.
Three Things About Little Ol’ Me:
Hmmm . . . I’m going to try to think of three things about myself I have yet to talk about in this blog. This might be a bit tricky though since I think I’m pretty open about things here.
Thing #1: I like to do volunteer work. I’ve volunteered as a side walker at an equine therapy place for people with mental and/or physical disabilities, and at a farm animal sanctuary with Cupcakes and Machetes, and also for part of a tutoring group a few years back when I was taking classes toward getting certified as a PCT. I’d love to do more volunteering in the near future as well. My family was also really involved in foster care for rescue dogs when I was younger. I think it’s important to help out in the community. Never underestimate the difference it can make.
Thing #2: Most people have birthday cake to celebrate their birthday, but my mom always makes me banana cream pie with a shortbread crust. It’s sooo good.
Thing #3: I am, and always have been, a TERRIBLE liar. Which is kind of a good thing because I don’t like to lie anyway, but I mean my poker face is virtually nonexistent. In fact, I usually start smiling or laughing because it’s so uncomfortable for me. In the past year and a half I’ve started playing tabletop games and there are some that are just impossible for me to play, like Sheriff of Nottingham. This game involves the players having to bluff and lie and trick the player who happens to be the sheriff at that given time. Let’s just say, they always figure me out. lol
Kate’s Questions / My Answers:
Question 1: What or who inspired you to blog?
I think I’d say fellow blogger Cupcakes and Machetes really got me into blogging. We’re BFFs in real life and we tend to enjoy a lot of the same things and do them together. We’ve even co-written a few different older blogs together in the past. So you can blame her for my long-winded ramblings here. 😛
Question 2: What was the biggest obstacle you overcame last year? Or recently, really?
Well, this is a pretty heavy question for me, but I’m going to say depression. Just about two years ago now I went through something that emotionally gutted me. It seriously broke me. It’s difficult even thinking back on the low point I hit mentally after that. My mental health was dangerously low and it took some serious time and support to get through it. It really affected my confidence, my entire way of thinking about not only myself, but life in general. It definitely changed me as a person but I survived and got through it.
Question 3: What’s your every day mantra?
Take things one day at a time. Accomplish small goals that will add up to the bigger ones you desire. All accomplishments, no matter how small, are still moving you in the right direction. The best things in life don’t come easily so keep at it. Each and every day.
Question 4: If you’re allowed one impossible thing only you can do, what would that be?
Teleport! 😀 I think it would be amazing to be able to just see the world. Visit anyone or any place at any time you wanted. Think of all the amazing things you’d be able to see and learn and experience.
Question 5: What’s your spiritual mythical creature?
As of right now I’d have to say a phoenix. As cliche as it sounds I got burnt. Bad. And now I’m working toward rising from the ashes. It isn’t an instant rise, but most aren’t. I hope to keep at it and get there soon though! I’m on a path of self improvement and very determined.
My Best Post?
Um . . . I don’t know! lol I think the ones I do about writing in general tend to do the best as far as likes and new visitors if you’re speaking from a technical standpoint.