Is shark's skin as smooth as it looks?

If you ever have the opportunity to observe some sharks
closely, either from the protection of a cage while diving with sharks or in the comfort and safety of an aquarium, take a look at their skin. Hairless and smooth looking, is shark's skin as smooth as it looks?

Actually, if you ever have the opportunity to visit an aquarium offering the opportunity to pet small inoffensive sharks, you may actually find out first hand if their skin is as smooth as it looks, especially if you do not follow the instructions properly. 

You see, if you pet it from head to tail, the skin of a shark will feel very smooth but if you decide to experiment by petting it from tail to head, you will soon discover the roughness of its skin, the hard and painful way.

If you ever have the chance to observe a sample of shark's skin under the lens of a microscope, you will not only observe different patterns depending of shark species but also the sharpness of the teeth-like texture.

Now that you are aware of that, you will understand that
petting a shark the wrong way; can injure you by scratching your skin or even leaving you with cuts. Some swimmers have found that out first hand during close encounters with sharks.

For years, both experts and people considered a myth the idea that shark's skin could not only be compared but also used as sandpaper. What was a myth became a fact when some experts have decided to test the properties of shark's skin, comparing it directly with sandpaper.

What were the results of their testing? Well, they found out that in fact, shark's skin can be used the same way as sandpaper to smooth out the edges. They also tested the durability of shark's skin and have discovered that it outlasts the durability of sandpaper. As for the cost, shark's skin has proven to be more expansive.

The question that may be raised is: "Since the durability of shark's skin is better than sandpaper, is it worst the cost by using fewer sheets than sandpaper or does it remain more expensive than sandpaper in the long run?"

Well, I suggest that you ask the question to the sales representatives that make both materials available to you on their shelves. Another way is to watch or purchase the video of the show "MythBusters" that is availableat the Discovery Channel Store online.

You are now able to answer the question: "Is shark's skin as smooth as it looks?" on your own due to the information shared with you in this article. Thanks to the experts, a myth has now become a fact!

If you wish to learn more about the shark's anatomy, I invite you to visit the following page: Shark Anatomy.