Mark Healey weighs in on Laird Hamilton’s comment about sharks and menstruation

In case you missed it, earlier this week Laird Hamilton was asked by TMZ Sports about all the shark activity this year in Southern California. He proceeded to tell the camera that women who are menstruating attract more sharks and shark attacks.

The internet then weighed in on the comments, creating quite the debate. Waterman and big-wave surfer Mark Healey offered his opinion in support of Hamilton’s comments, posting a response to a post on Beach Grit’s Instagram.

Healey’s comment reads as such:

“The logic is that predators that are tuned to hunting mammals and have exponentially more powerful senses of smell than we do, pick up on that. The idea is, these predators would much rather follow a female animal that has or is giving birth so that they can get an easier/ low risk meal. The menstruation cycle likely triggers more of a response than just blood. I’ve seen it happen a handful of times while filming sharks and was able to know that the gals who the sharks wouldn’t leave alone were on their periods (yes, I asked). Not sexist, just nature.”

Healey is a true waterman in the fullest sense of the word. He charges big waves, is a world-class spear fisherman and regularly swims with sharks. He also tagged sharks earlier this year in Japan for research.

Comments made to Broadly in 2016 by Dr. Steve Kajiura of Florida Atlantic University’s Shark Lab would appear to refute this thought process: “Do sharks attack the menstruating more than other humans? ‘We don’t have evidence of that,’ Kajiura asserts.”

If one thing is certain, it’s that this is a highly-charged internet debate where experts and researchers seem to be torn on a conclusion. What are your thoughts on it?

Can sharks smell human blood? Photo: Courtesy of Unsplash/Pexels

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