This Viral 'Trick' Will Help Detect When There Are Sharks Nearby

It's the best way to know for sure.

Shark fin above deep blue ocean water
Photo: Getty Images

Josh Rinder wants you to know there is one quick and easy way to tell if sharks are swimming near you in the ocean, and all it takes is a spoon.

In 2018, the delivery truck driver was on a fun family vacation at Edisto Beach in his home state of South Carolina. While there, he took to the water's edge to film a quick video meant to be shared with his family and friends.

In the video, Ridner says, "I had an Edistoian tell me a little trick to see if there are actually sharks in this water. All you have to do is use a spoon. So I grabbed a spoon and I'm going to try it. I'm going to see if this wives tale is true."

He then explains you need to get very close to the water, take a spoon full of it, and actually taste it. He then adds, "If it tastes like salt, that means there are sharks in the water."

The video became an instant social media sensation. "I'm absolutely surprised at the reaction," Rinder told The Charlotte Observer in 2018. "I figured that my family and friends would get a kick out of it, but then it spread like wildfire."

Of course, the video is meant to be tongue in cheek, however, at the time of the video's posting, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy took to its own Facebook page to endorse the method saying it's "a great trick to detect nearby sharks."

As the World Wildlife Fund explains, there are more than 400 species of sharks swimming around the waters across the world right now. However, these stunning sea creatures need our help.

According to a study published in the journal Nature in 2021, the global shark population has dropped by more than 70% in the last 50 years.

"The decline isn't stopping, which is a problem," Nathan Pacoureau, a researcher at Simon Fraser University in Canada and lead author of the study, said. "Everything in our oceans is so depleted now. We need proactive measures to prevent total collapse, this should be a wake-up call for policymakers."

Want to know how you can really stay safe from sharks, even if you see them up close in the water? Check out these 11 essential shark safety tips and remember, they don't want to eat you anyway.

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