Just In: Is This Shark 500 Years Old?

Greenland shark is world's oldest

Danish scientists say this 18-foot-long Greenland shark is probably over 500 years old. Absent a birth certificate, that figure is an estimate. But it’s cool to think this fish was swimming around some years before Shakespeare was in knee pants. When it was born, they say, Henry VIII was only 14 years old. (https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/666587/shark-oldest-living-vertebrate-greenland)

Greenland sharks are known to get very large, up to 20 feet. They’re in the dogfish family–those little sharks you always catch when you’re trying to catch something else. They can live under the Arctic ice pack. Why they should choose to is another story.

How seriously do we take this claim that this particular shark is 512 years old?

Search me. This is Mr. Nature, reporting on God’s stuff.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

11 responses to “Just In: Is This Shark 500 Years Old?

  • UnKnowable

    He might be older than Shakespeare, but has it ever written anything that was actually published? 🙂

    I had read about this critter a while back. I’m sure that they have some basis for this estimate, but who knows what it is. It’s impressive. A number of years ago, I traveled up the west coast and saw Sequoia that were very old indeed. It was quite evocative to realize that these trees had been there when so much history was going on.


    • leeduigon

      I think Francis Bacon wrote the shark’s stuff, too. But Phoebe would know for sure.


      • UnKnowable

        Good comeback! 🙂


      • Phoebe

        Some would say it was the Earl of Oxford. In fact, that’s the latest academic fad. For a while it was Marlowe. Some even proposed Queen Elizabeth (the first one, of course), which suggests that QE I was bipolar, since she once banned performances of “Richard II,” which would have been banning her own work. Or then again, maybe it was a double bluff, to keep people from guessing she’d written the play. Or maybe it was Russian collusion. 🙂

        I say the whole “who wrote Shakespeare” industry is professional jealousy on the part of people who can’t stand the idea that someone who never went to the universities could write rings around those who did.

        Liked by 1 person

        • UnKnowable

          “I say the whole “who wrote Shakespeare” industry is professional jealousy on the part of people who can’t stand the idea that someone who never went to the universities could write rings around those who did.”

          I think you’re onto something. I’ve noticed that some of the more formally educated people I’ve met can’t comprehend that someone lacking a college education is capable of understanding anything complex. They will resort to left-handed compliments and shake their heads in wonder when someone lacking their degree of education turns out to know as much about a field as they do.


  • thewhiterabbit2016

    I thought it was settled science: Francis Bacon wrote the Shakespeare plays.
    Desert tortoises can live over 100 years but that can be verified. The same with the age of a tree. But a shark? – I’m skeptical (a foundational premise of science).


  • J.S. Klingemann

    To me it looks 500 years old, whether it is or not.


  • Phoebe

    Obviously, the age of the shark was monitored by a 550-year-old scientist who was present at the birth.


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