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Shark, all over the world, and in real time. Fun, no? Image: Shark Tracker


The Inertia

Sharks are endlessly fascinating. They can be terrifying, although our fear is mostly unfounded. We’ve studied them for decades, and there’s still so much about them we don’t know. How they navigate? How many species of sharks are there, really? How can we properly measure their intelligence? So many unanswered questions, so little time. But there’s at least one way to get a few answers: a shark tracker app created by OCEARCH.

OCEARCH, a “data-centric organization built to help scientists collect previously unattainable data in the ocean”, created the app so that interested users can stay up to date with their favorite sharks in real-time on any mobile device. This morning at 6:31 a.m., for example, an eight-foot Mako named Fast Ball was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, right near the Mexican border a stone’s throw from Brownsville, Texas. And it’s clear from the comments that there are more than a few very interested users — the sharks have super fans.

One of the most interesting parts of the Shark Tracker app is the ability to comment and follow any of the 324 tagged sharks in the system. There are also alligators, seals, turtles, and dolphins on the app, and the comments on all of them are hilariously heartfelt.

“I skipped using a straw for you today, honeybuns,” wrote one user on a turtle named Junonia.

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“Yes miss girlie!” wrote user Lauwura K about a 10-foot great white named Miss May. “She’s on the move!!”

“I would die for Fast Ball,” wrote Chloe W.

“Norfolk hey queen I love uuu,” wrote another user aptly named Norfolk Fanpage.

 Shark Tracker

Hey queen. Image: Shark Tracker

Each animal on the app has an extensive biography, including the estimated weight, where they were tagged, the latest location, a movement log from the moment they were first tagged, and a profile picture. Whether you’re there to stay away from the sharks or you’re there because you simply love sharks, Shark Tracker is a fun way to keep up to date with some of your favorite sea creatures.

The app can be found here.

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