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Apparently Sharks Love Jazz Music?

A new study says sharks have an interesting response to jazz.


Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City" hated jazz, because she thought it didn't make sense. But a new study reveals that sharks may prefer jazz over other types of music.

The melodic study comes from researchers at Macquarie University in Australia, according to Mashable. They decided to find out if Port Jackson sharks (the ones that lay those crazy corkscrew eggs) could discern between genres of sound.

The scientists played jazz music at one end of the tank, and if the sharks swam to the proper corner, they got a food reward. It was sort of a Pavlov's dogs experiment with the scientists using food to train the sharks to hear a sound and react in a set way.

And, they were pretty good at it.

Mashable reported that five of the eight sharks in the study could identify the jazz notes and respond accordingly. However, when the researchers added classical music to the mix, the sharks were mostly just confused and didn't know what to do or where to go.

Biology professor Phillip Lobel wasn't involved in the study, but he told NatGeo that he had a theory about why jazz notes may have been more recognizable for these fish.

"Right off, I would probably guess that the jazz music happened to have more of a regular beat that would be more what the sharks are used to being attracted to," he said. The tones of jazz may replicate what NatGeo calls "yummy hum." It's the rapid, pulsing sounds that dying, wriggling prey makes.

The noise tells sharks that dinner is about to be on.

sharks music

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Sound, which travels faster underwater, could also play part in how larger sharks operate in the ocean. Another NatGeo article reported that some sharks in shallow water got used to boats providing chum and attracting fish. So they began to appear based on the motor sounds before chum was even dropped into the water.

Ultimately, though, this study only looked at a handful of one type of shark, so further tests would need to be conducted to see if jazz is a shark's fave, or if these particular ones just learned that jazz = food. As marine conservation biologist David Shiffman noted on Twitter, the study was "neat."

But, "it does not mean that playing that music in the wild will attract sharks."

If there were any type of music best suited for the ocean, though, it would probably be jazz.

Azula previously reported that the reef is a cacophony of sound from clicks and snaps to purrs and pops. Bowhead whales even compose their own jazz-like symphonies of scattered, freeform sounds, according to the New York Daily News.

You can hear those jazzy beats below:

Sorry Carrie Bradshaw. Jazz makes sense to some ...

... provided you look under the sea.

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