The Jakarta Post
Sharks sniff for their prey of choice, and are more interested in amino acids coming from the blood and guts of marine animals. (Shutterstock/File)
Although there are many myths and misunderstandings about women's menstrual cycle, the myth of period blood attracting sharks and making menstruating women more vulnerable to shark attacks is essential to debunk.
In a report by Popular Science, period blood actually does not attract sharks.
Although sharks can smell blood because of the chemicals (amino acids) it contains, they don’t interpret it as their dinner bell.
On the contrary, sharks sniff for the scent of their prey of choice. They are more interested in the amino acids coming from the blood and guts of marine animals, as stated by Steve Kajiura from Florida Atlantic University’s Shark Lab.
Additionally, an important thing to know is that menstrual blood isn’t just blood. It’s also the lining of the uterus, cervical mucus, and other secretions. When inside water, it’ll only leave the tiniest trace of blood.
“In fact, the amount of blood loss during menstruation is probably less than the average scrape or cut that a kid or surfer may get while playing in the water,” says Chris Lowe, a shark researcher at California State University of Long Beach.
Read also: Whale Shark spotted in Gorontalo waters
Menstruating swimmers don't have to worry about their blood to avoid shark attacks; instead, simply swim normally at a nice, constant pace so sharks don’t single them out as weak and easy prey. (anm/mut)