Cut Schurkes Loose

According to Wikipedia the etymology of the word “shark” might have been derived from the Yucatec Maya word xok, pronounced ‘shok’. Evidence for this etymology comes from the Oxford English Dictionary, which notes shark first came into use after Sir John Hawkins’ sailors exhibited one in London in 1569 and posted “sharke” to refer to the large sharks of the Caribbean Sea. However, the Middle English Dictionary records an isolated occurrence of the word shark in a letter written by Thomas Beckington in 1442, which rules out a New World etymology.

An alternate etymology states that the original sense of the word was that of “predator, one who preys on others” from the German Schorck, a variant of Schurke “villain, scoundrel” (cf. card shark, loan shark, etc.), which was later applied to the fish due to its predatory behaviour.

There are 470 species of shark in the ocean and their existence dates back to the Ordovician period 400 million years ago, however the expansion of the Chinese economy has led to a massive shark slaughter to satisfy the newly rich Chinese appetite for shark fin soup.

Last year over a 100 million sharks were harvested from the sea, which is estimated to be 6-8% of the global shark population meaning that there are 20 billion sharks roaming the ocean shallows and depths, although experts reckon that only 3500 Great Whites remainat large.

Ever hungry for prey, but not Man.

The only the reason we can venture into the surf without being gobbled by sharks is because we smell bad and taste worse.

This photo comes from my friend Alison in Palm Beach. The fisherman cut the shark loose and the Schurke fled to the safety of the deep, but the following photo shows how many sharks there are in the sea.

Countless, but not infinite.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *