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Credit: Wikimedia/Public Domain

The Greenland Shark Isn't Full of Pee, But It Still Is Awesome

And that's probably for the best.


Ahh, Twitter. A realm that truly sees humanity's highest highs and lowest lows. It's a place where anything, if told in a numbered, lengthy and incredulous thread, can seem like it's true — for better or for worse.



A Twitter rant went viral last week about a certain animal called a Greenland shark, which has recently made headlines after scientists discovered just how long it lives (hint: very, very, very, very, very long) and after two old buddies named Morten Stroksnes and Hugo Aasjord decided to kill one for themselves — though to be fair those names could drive anyone to devote their life to killing a rather elusive, difficult and rare shark.



The rant in question came from Twitter user @joffeorama, whose name on Twitter is um jammer trans g. The first tweet was rather grabby:


As was the second tweet:


The user went on to claim the Greenland shark lives for 500 years and often suffers from glowing copepods that eat its eyes to attract more prey with their light, which seems to be a happy symbiosis between the shark and the glowing deep-sea bugs.


There are more tweets, but these were the real clinchers:


Crazy, right? Absolutely wack. Unfortunately for joffeorama but fortunately for science, the Verge took the time to break down the thread and figure out what was fact and what was too good, or rather, too pee-filled to be true.


First off, the Greenland shark is not full of pee. It's full of urea, which is a byproduct that we filter out in pee but is not technically pee itself.



All sharks, rays, and cartilaginous fish have high levels of urea in order to exist in osmosis with the surrounding ocean.



Second, the glowing deep sea bugs may not even glow, but rather just slowly eat the Greenland shark's eyes until they go blind.



And finally, 500 years? The oldest living Greenland shark topped 400, so that may actually be a safe bet. Stay wild, Greenland sharks.

Greenland sharkCredit: Wikimedia/Public Domain

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