Headlines: Sharks Sign Up for Twitter in Western Australia

January 3, 2014 – Twitter’s recent IPO seems to have made it so popular that even sharks off the Australian coast are signed up to tweet.

Australia and shark attacks seem to go hand-in-hand although these events are extremely rare. But that hasn’t stopped the State of Western Australia from tagging more than 300 sharks with gadgets that alert floating sensors anchored near popular swimming beaches. When a tagged shark draws near a tweet gets sent advising the Surf Life Saving team about its proximity. Of course, untagged sharks don’t tweet.


Shark Twitter alert


Australia had 14 recorded shark attacks in 2012. Compare that to 121 drownings and 1,193 road deaths in the same year. It would seem sharks stir the public imagination ever since the movie “Jaws” came out. So now when a shark comes near a Western Australian beach be assured your lifeguard will get a tweet.

For Western Australians you may have a 1 in 3,362 chance of drowning while your lifeguard picks up the field glasses to look for the shark. But you will be safe from the 1 in 292,565 chance of being attacked and killed by a shark. It seems in the 21st century we still haven’t overcome our fear of monsters under the bed.



Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...