How Do Sharks Hear? [5 Amazing Sharks Hearing Facts]

How do sharks hear? Do they have ears? Well, it turns out that a shark’s hearing is actually very different from a human’s.

Sharks don’t have external ears or eardrums which means that they can only detect sound vibrations through their body and the water around them. 

That said, there are still some fascinating facts about how sharks hear! 

In this article, we will be discussing 5 amazing facts you might not know about how do sharks hear?!

In case you are in a hurry and don’t have enough time to read the complete article. We have an on-point answer for you.

How do sharks hear? Sharks have an acute sense of hearing because they are able to hear the slightest sonic vibrations. This helps them defend themselves because, during hunting, they can pick up any slight movement in the water. It also makes it easier for them to find food.

How Do Sharks Hear? The Explanation!

Sharks hear by listening to the movement of water around them. This is known as passive sonar. 

To do this, a special organ picks up vibrations from the surrounding water and sends impulses through nerves to the brain where they are recognized as sounds. 

The sounds that sharks hear range from 200 Hz to 800 Hz, which is beyond human hearing limits.

Sharks can hear higher frequencies than we can and they also have the ability to determine the distance and direction of a sound. 

Sharks can sense low-frequency vibrations from many miles away, which is helpful because it allows them to detect other animals even when they are far apart. 

Sharks use their hearing as part of their hunting technique and this enables them to pick up on tiny vibrations that other animals don’t hear.

Further in the article, you will be learning interesting facts about how sharks hear and also learn about the hearing range of various species as well as how far can a shark hear.

Also, read: Do sharks have ears? Learn their 5 interesting hearing facts!

Can Sharks Hear Humans?

Yes, sharks can hear human voices. Sharks are mammals, and like every other mammal on Earth, they hear sound through their ears. 

Truth be told, sharks can hear a much lower frequency than humans can. 

In fact, the human hearing range is 20 Hz to 20 kHz , while for sharks it is 70 Hz to as low as 10 Hz!

In beach people screams and splash to scare the shark, and then swim away to watch it from a safe distance.

It is quite possible that humans could be heard by sharks, but we just don’t know what they think about it!

Read this next: What do sharks see human us? Do they think us their enemies!

How Do Sharks Listen To Humans?

Shark ears are internal; they lie on either side of the head behind the eyes. 

However, sharks also have a sensory organ called The Ampullae of Lorenzini, which is a network of gel-filled canals and pores located around a shark’s head. 

This organ enables them to feel movements in the water , as well as pick up electrical impulses from other creatures.

The Ampullae of Lorenzini is located just below a shark’s skin and can be easily seen as small black dots all over the head and snout area. 

This organ helps sharks locate prey in murky water, but it also lets them know when swimmers are near so they can avoid an encounter.

Do Sharks Have Ears?

Yes, sharks do have ears.  

Sharks’ eardrums are very sensitive which allows them to be extremely aware of the slightest changes in their surroundings.  

Shark eardrums are very similar to our ears, but they have a few differences.  

Their eardrums do not contain the same tiny bones that ours do which provides them with a much weaker sense of hearing.

In order for sharks to hear you screaming, they would need to be extremely close and it would be extremely loud for them.  

Humans cannot hear many sounds underwater, so if a shark was to come near you, the odds of you hearing it or having it hear your screams is very unlikely. 

Read this complete article: Do sharks have ears? Do our screams scares them away?

Do Sharks Have a Hearing? 

Yes, sharks have a hearing and they use it perfectly. Sharks have very acute hearing. 

They can hear low-frequency sounds over long distances and small-frequency high-pitched sounds over short distances. 

Their hearing is so developed that they can hear even a group of fish breathing and moving around in water, which helps them to locate their prey without seeing it.

Sharks hearing is so good that they can even pick up the heartbeats of creatures that are far away. 

It is also believed by scientists that sharks can communicate with each other by making sounds.

Also, read: Do sharks uses echolocation to communicate?

What Can a Shark Hear?

A common myth is that humans cannot scream loud enough for a whale or great white shark to hear.

This myth was popularized in the movie Jaws.

Many sharks have excellent hearing. 

Sharks can hear low-frequency noises, an ability thought to have evolved in part because of the importance of vibrations in detecting prey. 

However, there is no evidence that they can detect high-frequency airborne sounds.

Scientists have long believed that certain species are able to pick up sound vibrations through their lateral line. 

This is a system of canals and pores that runs along each side of the head all the way to the tail.

The lateral line in bony fish contains a fluid, similar to the cochlea of the ear in mammals.

It can detect vibrations in the water and transmit them to sensory cells within this fluid.

Can a Shark Hear Your Heartbeat?

It’s obvious you heart runs faster when you are in the water with sharks, but can they hear it? Can a shark hear your heartbeat through the water? 

The answer is NO.  A human’s heart rate must be twice that of 150 beats per minute before a shark can detect it using its lateral line organ. 

Sharks have amazing senses of smell and hearing, but it’s not so sensitive that you need to worry about them hearing your heart beating through the water.

The lateral line is a system of receptors in sharks that picks up vibrations in the water. 

Sharks detect low-frequency sounds at long distances using this organ. 

They use their lateral line for hunting, navigation and communication. 

A shark may be able to detect prey using the lateral line when there is little or no visibility.

Also, read: Do sharks like human blood? Why do they hunt humans?

Can Sharks Hear Better Than Humans?

Most people think that sharks can hear better than humans, but actually the opposite is true. 

Sharks have good hearing compared to humans, however, they do not have as much range or sensitivity as humans do.

Sharks are able to sense frequencies between 100 Hz and 35 kHz, where as humans can hear between 20 Hz and 14 kHz. 

Sharks have a small ear drum connected to middle ear bones that transmit sound vibrations to the inner ear bones.

Because sharks are not able to distinguish high frequency noise very well they rely on other senses such as the lateral line and other sensory systems to focus in on sound vibrations. 

The lateral line consists of a series of receptors along the length of the shark’s body that sense pressure changes as well as vibrations which can be detected as far as 4 kilometers away.

The auditory centres in sharks brains are relatively large compared with those for their eyesight, so it is believed that sharks rely more on hearing to survive than vision.

How Far Can Sharks Hear?

The short answer to this question is that sharks can hear at much greater distances than humans, but scientists are unsure exactly how far they can hear. 

It’s believed that sharks could possibly be able to hear at a distance of about 50 feet in calm waters and 10 feet in rough water. 

Sharks might not hear at extreme distances, but they can definitely sense vibrations at great proximity.

If you are ever in the water with sharks, the best thing to do is stay quiet and still. 

Also, avoid splashing around because these things can attract sharks due to vibrations in the water.

Do Sharks Have Good Hearing?

Yes, sharks do have good hearing. Sharks hear more than just the screams of their prey.

Their hearing is so good that they can hear prey in the water from over a half-mile away.

Sharks have special organs in their head called the lateral line system that picks up vibrations in the water. 

This helps them to find food and navigate without making contact with obstacles. 

It also contributes to sharks being able to hear so well because they are picking up sound waves coming directly from their prey.

Sharks can also hear sounds on land and in the air, but it is much harder for them to pick up sounds underwater than outside of the water.

Read for knowledge: How far can sharks smell blood? The distance may SURPRISE you!

Can Sharks Hear Screams?

Yes, sharks can definitely hear screams. 

And this is one of the reasons why many people recommend against swimming in the ocean, where sharks live. 

Sharks not only can hear human voices and noises, but they also use their sense of hearing to find out whether a potential meal such as a human swimmer might be worth attacking or not.

Human screams helps sharks to locate you, and it also tells them whether they should go for the attack or not.

Each species of shark has a different range of hearing ability. 

So there is no exact answer as to how far away a shark can hear a scream from a human, but some sharks have been able to detect sound through water at around 165 feet or 50 meters.

Does Screaming Scare Sharks Away?

No, screaming will not intimidate sharks. 

Sharks can hear your screams but it does not scare them away. 

Screaming might even attract sharks because these aquatic creatures are drawn to the sound of struggling prey. 

So, if you are ever attacked by a shark, do NOT scream or shout where they can hear you!

Sharks don’t focus on individual prey, but a group of surfers or swimmers might seem like a single entity.

Screaming helps them to be attracted to you.

Also, read: Do sharks have bones? How many bones do they have in their body?

Do Sharks Make Noise?

Sharks are very noisy. In fact, some species have been known to make a noise that sounds like other loud or angry sea-creatures such as whales!

Sharks make noise when they are hunting their prey, when they are in distress or when they are mating.

Some sharks make noise by snapping their jaws together while others emit a high-pitched sound that resembles the squealing of pigs. 

The sand tiger shark makes noise when it is breathing. This can be heard from inches away. 

Scientists believe that this is because sand tiger sharks must keep their spiracle, or gill opening, open to avoid suffocating.

Sharks also make noise through the movement of water over their gills and by moving their tails.

How Do Sharks React To Noise?

When sharks hear any kind of noise or sound, they are extremely curious about it. 

Sharks may not have ears, but they can certainly hear with their entire body.

Sharks are very powerful swimmers who use the muscles of their entire body to propel themselves through the water. 

They can pick up vibrations from any kind of noise or vibration with the sensors that are located on most parts of their body.

Although they are curious about new noises, if the noise is sudden and unfamiliar, it can scare them away.

Also, know this: How do sharks taste blood? Do sharks have taste buds in their mouth?

Do Sharks Communicate?

Sharks do communicate with each other, whether they do it with sounds, smell or even electromagnetic fields.

Researchers have found that sharks emit a variety of different sounds such as “pings”, whistles and bursts.

Although many species of sharks produce sound, some like the hammerhead shark can pick up vibrations from hundreds of feet away in order to home in on its prey.

How Do Sharks Communicate With Humans?

This is really a funny question. We all know that sharks do not speak English, nor do they relate to a language of any kind. 

So how exactly do they communicate? A shark’s basic communication with humans is by movement and body language.

Sharks also use sounds, smells and electric pulses for communication, however there isn’t enough data on these topics to make it more specific than that.

How Do Sharks Hear Other Sharks?     

Sharks are social animals and communicate with each other by using sound signals. 

There is evidence that suggests that some species of sharks can receive vibrations from other nearby sharks as well as those from miles away through the oceans.

Sharks also have the ability to sense electrical impulses through their nose, which they use to find prey.

The lateral line is another sensory organ that enables sharks to detect motion and vibrations in water.

Also, read: Can sharks see in the dark? How do they prey underwater?

How Do Echolocations Work For Sharks?

Echolocation is a type of sense that makes use of sound. 

This particular sense helps to provide sharks with information on their surroundings and aids them in hunting, navigation and communication. 

The sounds used for echolocation are usually made by the animals themselves or by other mammals such as dolphins. 

Humans do not have this sixth sense but we are familiar with the sounds that are made. 

Some animals use echolocation outside of water, but Sharks make these noises within the water.

Working Principle of Echolocation

This type of sense has a number of working principles which may include biological sonar and active sonar, where sonar stands for sound navigation radar. 

The sounds that are made by either of these types of sonar bounce off surrounding objects and then return to the sender. 

Using the information that is received from the reflected sounds, Sharks can tell what type of object it is and also how far away it is from them. 

They use this information to determine where they should be positioned in order to get a good view of the object. 

Sharks are able to move their heads from side to side and also forwards and backwards, improving their ability to gain a 3D image of their surroundings at any given time.

Also, read this: Do sharks have scales or skins?

Does Echolocation Help Sharks Hear?

As it turns out, echolocation doesn’t help sharks hear. 

There is no evidence to suggest that sharks can use echolocation as a way to find sound waves in the water. 

While dolphins and bats are known to use echolocation, this type of navigation isn’t commonly seen in other species.

While some people may think that echolocation makes it easier for sharks to find prey, the truth is that they use their incredible sense of smell to find food.

Humans can’t hear a shark’s echolocation clicks. 

However, pinging noises from sonar or a boat’s engine could fool a shark into thinking there is a creature in the water. 

This might cause the shark to attack as a way to defend itself.

Echolocation may not be a form of communication for sharks, but it does allow them to find food and navigate through the ocean without bumping into anything.

To read more about how sharks use echolocation, we suggest this article: How do sharks navigate?

5 Amazing Sharks Hearing Facts!

Fact 1: Sharks have an excellent sense of hearing.

Sharks are not only able to detect sounds but are also able to differentiate between high and low pitched noises.

Fact 2: The ability to hear is strongest around the frequency range of 200-500 Hz.

This area covers both high and low pitched sounds, including those emitted by typical prey animals, as well as by distressed fish.

Fact 3: Sound waves are transmitted to the inner ear through the jaw.

This means that a shark can pick up sounds even if it’s head is out of the water!

The sound is then transferred through nerves to its brain.

Fact 4: Sharks have an incredible sense of direction which they use to determine distance, location and direction of sounds.

They can do this even if the sound is coming from below them.

Fact 5: Sharks are able to hear frequencies up to at least 250 Hz.

This enables sharks not only to hear typical prey but also distressed fish!

Besides hearing, sharks have an excellent sense of smell.

This can be used to detect blood spilled in water by injured fish over large distances!

Also, read: Do sharks have tongues to taste? Do they have good taste?


Sharks have an advanced hearing ability, and this allows them to hear many sounds in the sea. 

Humans can talk at a maximum frequency of 15 kilohertz (kHz), which means they generally sound below 10 kHz to most sharks. 

However, some sharks can hear frequencies up to 200 kHz and above, and there is no way for humans to know what sounds these sharks are hearing.

Sharks have the best hearing among aquatic animals, and their ability to hear low-frequency sounds helps them detect prey. 

Sharks also have an excellent sense of smell , which helps them to locate prey in the open ocean.

So, let us know if you have any specific related questions in your mind. We will love to help you out with the best possible solutions.

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