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What Sounds Do Sharks Make

Do Sharks Make Noise

Sharks have long been portrayed in pop culture as silent predators, but contrary to this common myth, sharks do make noise.

So, what sounds do sharks make?

Recent studies have revealed that sharks use sound for communication, navigation, and locating prey. Here’s an overview of the different types of noises sharks produce and how they use sound:

You might also be interested in reading: How do sharks Communicate?

What Do Sharks Sound Like?

Different shark species are capable of making a variety of sounds. Below are a view examples of the types of sounds a shark could make:

  • Drumming sounds
    • Some shark species like the tiger shark make low-frequency drumming noises by contracting their muscles during mating seasons to attract potential mates
  • Clicking sounds
    • Sounds produced by sucking or popping noises made with their jaws, tongues, and throats
  • Buzzing
    • Created by vibrating their swim bladders

How Sharks Make Noise

  • Grinding their teeth
  • Swimming fast creating cavitation bubbles that burst
  • Rubbing their fins together
  • Slapping their tails on the surface

You might also be interested in reading: How Sharks Mate.

Purposes of Shark Sounds

  • Communication
    • Sharks use sound to communicate with potential mates during courtship
    • Sounds signal aggression or submission
  • Echolocation
    • Some sharks use clicking noises for navigation and locating prey
  • Warding off threats
    • Sounds may act as a defensive mechanism to deter predators

Shark Hearing Capabilities

  • Can hear frequencies <100 Hz compared to humans that hear up to 20,000 Hz
  • Hear low frequency sounds from great distances
  • Respond to noises from marine animals and human activities

Despite having the capability to hear sounds, sharks lack vocal cords and other structures for producing loud sounds. They rely primarily on body language, electric signals, and chemical cues to interact and communicate with each other.

Shark Vocalization Frequency Ranges

Shark SpeciesFrequency Range
Lemon shark25 – 2100 Hz
Bonnethead shark200 – 3000 Hz
Great hammerhead shark30 – 750 Hz


  • How do sharks use their sense of hearing when hunting?

    Sharks rely on exceptional hearing to detect low-frequency noises from wounded prey, even at long distances. Their hearing guides them towards food sources.

  • Do all shark species produce sound?

    No, some shark species are thought to be silent. Sound production capabilities vary across different shark types.

  • Can sharks communicate with other marine animals acoustically?

    Potentially yes. Sharks may interpret and react to sounds from dolphins, whales, and other ocean creatures. More research is needed in this area.

  • Are there ways to repel sharks using sound?

    Possibly. Studies are being done on shark deterrent devices using loud, irregular sounds sharks perceive as threats. But more testing is required to develop effective repellents.


Understanding shark acoustics provides valuable insights into their behavior and biology. Further research can contribute to conservation efforts and the protection of these marine creatures. While sharks may never roar, their unique underwater sounds reveal clues about their mysterious lives in the ocean depths.

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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