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'Shark Week': Former NASA engineer, BYU graduate tests if sharks can smell blood in the water

For the uninitiated, 'Shark Week' is an annual event on the Discovery Channel that includes shows, films and special programs.

For the uninitiated, 'Shark Week' is an annual event on the Discovery Channel that includes shows, films and special programs.
For the uninitiated, 'Shark Week' is an annual event on the Discovery Channel that includes shows, films and special programs.
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SALT LAKE CITY — Former NASA engineer and BYU graduate Mark Rober just appeared on “Shark Week” to test whether or not sharks can smell blood in the ocean.

For the uninitiated, “Shark Week” is an annual event on the Discovery Channel that includes shows, films and special programs centered around, you guessed it, sharks.

One of those programs included Rober’s segment where he tested to see if sharks could smell a drop of blood in the water.

The video has more than 14 million views.

What happens: Rober starts the video by throwing a number of liquids — including “seawater, fish oil, urine and cow’s blood,” according to Newsweek — into the ocean water to see if sharks prefer the smell of blood. After about 20 minutes, the shark started to smell the blood.

One more step: Robert took another step. He joined up with a few friends to drop their own blood in the water to see if the sharks liked human blood more than cow’s blood.

  • “One surfboard pumped seawater into the ocean to act as a control, one pumped the human blood quickly and one pumped it slowly. After another hour, no sharks were interested in the seawater or the surfboard depositing blood slowly. Not a single shark was interested in the surfboard pumping blood quickly into the water, either,” according to Newsweek.

Reaction: “This is by no means a perfect experiment, but I think it’s safe to qualitatively say that if no sharks came to check out 15 drops of human blood a minute in the middle of shark-infested waters, you’re probably gonna be OK with a small scrape,” Rober said in the video.

Flashback: Rober made headlines in December 2018 after he released a viral “glitter bomb” video, which I wrote about for the Deseret News. Rober later said that some aspects of the video were faked without his knowledge. Some of the reactions in the video were manufactured and raised suspicion.