Sunday, February 14, 2010

Operant conditioning of sharks

Training sharks is easy, they are subject to the same associative learning as the lab rat that you trained in your Psychology 101 class.

However, it’s possible to accidently train sharks, resulting in great danger.

The first recorded observation occurred in the South Pacific in WWII.

In 1942, giant naval battles raged between the Allies and the Japanese navy, and thousands of men were tossed into the water of the pacific where they were often eaten alive by sharks.

Sharks associate the sound of battle with a hot meal

By 1944, the sharks were conditions to associate the sound of artillery shells with a hot meal, and the sharks would come for miles when they heard a battle.

Sharks eating Haitians

The same thing is now happening in the Caribbean as thousands of Haitians flee the island. The Haitians are running aground on the shallow reefs in the Bahamas and the Tucks and Caicos.

Caribbean black tip reef sharks are agressive man eaters

The black tip reef sharks of the area are very aggressive anyway, and it’s getting worse, with sharks actively following boats, hoping for a hot meal.

Never get a nosebleed when scuba diving

Janet and I have loads of client in the Caribbean, and we go there so much that it’s become almost like a second home. The Haitians refugee problem is huge right now, and the sharks are becoming conditioned to follow small boats!

Janet and I are not very good at scuba diving

Awhile back I got a nosebleed at 80 feet, and I noticed it as a green fluid filling-up my mask! Man, you have never seen a fat man get out of the ocean so fast!

Blood looks green in your mask when get a nosebleed underwater

See my notes here on how to avoid getting a nosebleed when scuba diving.