Thousands of sharks are passing by Florida’s coast just in time for spring break

Blacktip Reef Shark @ Baltimore Aquarium
Flickr | jbylund

In addition to the throngs of college kids partying along Florida’s shoreline this spring break, another massive group of beach visitors is descending on the Palm Beach area: sharks!

And we’re not talking just a couple of them having a casual swim. Nope. Each year, thousands of blacktip sharks migrate south to Florida’s beaches from as far away as Long Island, New York, according to Discovery.

Take a look at the video below, which you’ll either find terrifying or fascinating:

With their numbers nearing 10,000, the blacktip sharks make for a menacing (yet, impressive) display not far off the Palm Beach County coast. How close do they get? Oh, only a few hundred feet away from the beach! It makes it hard not to notice them.

Just last weekend, a drone captured some incredible video of the annual migration off the coast of south Florida near Palm Beach.

And, while the spring break kids may not appreciate having a ton of sharks crash their beach party, marine biologists love the opportunity to get a closer look at this species. But this year, scientists have noticed the blacktip sharks are staying a little farther north for their migration than in previous years.

“One of the ideas may be that as they are getting south, if they are in a suitable habitat, then why not stay,” Stephen Kajiura, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University, told ABC News.

This video gives an amazing aerial view of the sharks lurking in the turquoise water:

Scientists gather along this “shark super-highway” to study the blacktips’ migration patterns. Often, they will tag a number of the sharks so they can monitor their travels, including location, distance traveled and how long they stay in one place or another.

Blacktip sharks range in length from about 5 to 9 feet. They enjoy swimming in shallow waters, so unfortunately, human interaction is a distinct possibility. And, while they are not known to be overly aggressive, blacktip sharks are near the top of the list of species involved in shark bites in Florida.

Instagram user @martindives captured this incredible (but very close!) shot of a blacktip shark off the coast of Indonesia. We do not recommend trying this during a spring break swim!

Those looking to go in the waters off the coast of sunny Florida need to keep in mind that this time of year is prime migration season, so there are more sharks in the water than usual. So, as more people go to the beach, the chance of a close shark encounter does rise.

“We have to remember when we go into the ocean, we are going into another animals’ home,” researcher Lindsey French told the Sun Sentinel. “A lot more people means a lot greater chance of a shark bite.”

shark attack photo
Flickr | berniedup

If you’re headed to Florida for spring break and are feeling anxious about sharks, you may want to pick up a SharkBanz bracelet. The $25 device is worn on the wrist and emits magnetic waves that deter sharks.


Interestingly, sharks have seven senses (as compared to our human five), and one of those is the ability to detect electromagnetic fields. So the SharkBanz magnetic waves “stun” the sharks like a bright light would cause a human to cover his or her eyes.

Watch this protective device in action in the video below:

RELATED: This drone footage shows boy narrowly escaping shark-filled waters in the Bahamas:

Animals, Travel

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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