August 16, 2020 9:31 pm

Monday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Shark Questions with Shark Scientist Jasmin Graham

Even StarTalk Radio can be taken over by the fascination around Shark Week. On this episode we’re doing a very special edition of Cosmic Queries. You guessed it, sharks!

A great white shark swims above, close to the surface of the water. Image Credit: Elias Levy / CC BY (

Great white shark. Image Credit: Elias Levy / CC BY (

Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Jordan Klepper are sitting down with shark scientist Jasmin Graham. Jasmin is also a project coordinator at the Marine Science Laboratory Alliance Center of Excellence and a co-founder of Minorities in Shark Science. Safe to say, Jasmin is the person we need if we want to talk about sharks. To start, we investigate how sharks will be impacted by climate change. Jasmin tells us why the impact varies for different species of sharks. You’ll also hear why most sharks aren’t like the great white sharks you see in your nightmares.

Then, we dive into megalodon sharks. With so much of the ocean unexplored, can we be sure they’re extinct? Jasmin helps us poke holes in all megalodon theories. You’ll learn how the evolution of whales can help us understand the extinction of the megalodon. Then, we ponder whether sharks have reached an intelligence plateau. Could they adapt to climate change? Could they leave the ocean and come onto land?

Jasmin gives us some friendly advice on how to avoid getting attacked by a shark. We explore the “science” of the Sharknado series and Neil reminisces about his star turn in The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. Find out what innovations have been originally attributed to shark research. You’ll learn about the bias we have towards dolphins over sharks.

Lastly, we discuss how the moon influences shark behavior. Discover how noise pollution has also influenced shark behavior and get the truth about sharks smelling blood in the water. All that, plus, we debate the likelihood of a “Planet of the Sharks” ever coming into existence.

Please join us tomorrow for Cosmic Queries – Sharks at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
– Ian Mullen

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