Header Ads

Are Sharks Attracted To Yellow Colors?

Are Sharks Attracted To Yellow Colors?

The question of are sharks attracted to the color yellow has lasted for years now.

It is believed by many people who are into open water activities like surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and so on that the color yellow attracts sharks

The name yum yum yellow was even given to the bright color yellow often seen on life jackets, this is based on the same belief that the color yellow attracts sharks. 

It is said that sharks find the color yummy hence the name “yum yum yellow".

It has been stated by several surfers that bright yellow endangers them in water, as some of them have been attacked by sharks over the years while using a yellow surfboard. 

However, scientists have argued against it.

Are Sharks Attracted To Yellow?

There is no straightforward answer to this question as experience has shown it to be true that sharks are indeed attracted to yellow.

But scientifically it has been proven based on experiments conducted that it is a misconception. 

Several research studies have been carried out on the vision and ability to see colors in sharks.

The eyes of different species of sharks have been tested if they possess the necessary photoreceptor cells known as cones and rods which are needed to see colors.

It was seen that there are more cone cells present in white sharks in comparison to other species of sharks. 

This made them think that white sharks have color vision, so at the time, scientists believed it to be true that the color yellow does attract sharks.

There was a study carried out on cones in 2011 which proved that there are different types of cone cells needed to be able to see colors, and just one of these cells on its own is not enough to perceive color.

Now only one type of cone cell is present in white sharks and other shark species.

This study proved that though sharks are unable to see color, they can however detect differences in brightness.

Tests were conducted by the US Navy to see what colors would attract sharks more, they used life vests to conduct these tests. 

This was done to prevent shark attacks in the case of rescuers or fighter pilots who ended up in the water.

They put dummies in vests of black, red, and yellow in water filled with sharks.

The sharks approached and revolved around the dummies in bright yellow vests more so than the other colors.

More speculations based on these tests coupled with the research carried out by scientists are that it is more the brightness of the color yellow that attracts sharks more than the color itself.

As scientific research has stated sharks can not see colors but detect different levels of brightness.

Others have tried to give definite proof of this belief, like on the Discovery Channel where they conducted a test to prove if this belief of sharks being attracted to yellow is true or not.

A lot of bags filled with baits were placed into water that was filled with sharks, then they tied bags to different boats while driving these boats around in the water.

Unlike the bags of bait, the ones attached to the boats were of different colors including the bright yellow color. 

However, the sharks went for the bait more than they did the colors, but the yellow bag had more attacks than the rest.

So despite the claims by scientists that the color yellow does not attract sharks, different physical tests and experiences have proven otherwise.

Experiences like that of the surfer that occurred on live TV who was attacked by a great white shark while he was in a surf competition.

This surfer was known for using a bright yellow-bottomed surfboard at the time.

This was the board he was with when the shark attacked his surfboard in particular, he was unharmed but he lost his surfboard. 

He stopped using a yellow-bottomed surfboard after that incident.


The likely conclusion is that sharks are attracted to brightness or high contrast of colors.

It is safe to say that this is not restricted to yellow alone but other bright colors like red and orange can attract sharks.

Seeing as scientific research has proven that sharks can not see color but can detect a difference in brightness, but somehow a lot of proof exists of sharks being attracted to yellow.

Further Reading:

How To Clean A Smelly Wetsuit

No comments

About UsPrivacy Policy. Powered by Blogger.