Can a shark see? Yes, the answer is yes. But the question is: Can a shark see in darkness? Sharks have a sophisticated set of senses. Sharks have two pairs of eyes located on opposite sides of their head, so their field of vision is nearly 360 degrees. Two blind spots exist in sharks: near and far. They also have mirrored crystals behind their retina, which helps them see in darkness and in murky water.
Sharks have eyes that look like humans. They have rods and cones that can detect light and darkness. Their pupils are dilated or constricted by muscles surrounding their lens. These mirrored crystals allow light through twice in low-light conditions. Sharks can distinguish between light and dark hues, but how well does it work? Scientists are still trying to figure out how sharks interpret colour.
Although the eyes of sharks resemble human eyes, their physiology is quite different. Sharks have one long-wavelength-sensitive cone type in their retina. They may be color blind but can still see objects up to 30 feet away, even in dark environments. This makes them ideal prey for divers as they can detect their movements even if their prey is hiding beneath sand and gravel.
In the past, scientists have compared human and seal swimming videos with footage of great white sharks. Researchers altered the clips to imitate the vision of a great white shark. Despite this, sharks cannot distinguish fine detail. However, they can see shapes, which makes them useful for detecting human targets. These findings were published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. A study like this could help protect humans from shark attacks. If a shark cannot see in the dark, it can’t sense colors.
Sharks also have mirrored quartz crystals on the retinas. These mirrored crystals enable them to see in dark environments, despite their size. This helps them see in dim light and murky water. Mirrored crystals reflect light back onto the retina giving them a second chance at detecting it. This is a similar mechanism that allows cats to see in the dark, but sharks’ eyes are 10 times better.
It is not yet clear if a shark can see humans despite their size or colour. The fact remains that most sharks are harmless and rarely dangerous. However, you should never touch, chase or harass one of these creatures. If you are attacked, stay low and back off slowly. Sharks cannot sense fear, but they can detect movement and heartbeat. So, if you have a shark sighting, do not panic.