Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rare Earth Magnets Act as Possible Shark Repellant

Since 2001, SharkDefense has been working on a chemical shark repellent. The co-founder of this small company was playing around with powerful rare-earth magnets in 2005, when he dropped one next to their shark research tank in Oak Ridge, New Jersey. The lemon and nurse sharks inside instantly darted to the opposite wall.

Bewildered, the two scientists began to investigate. The results of their studies are at a site called Ocean Magnetics (their spinoff company).

They've found that sharks dramatically avoid magnets made from neodymium, iron and boron. They think the magnets overload a shark's ampullae of Lorenzini, small vesicles and pores around the head that form part of a subcutaneous sensory network.

Nice alternative to chemical shark repellants. Better for everyone.


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