Ask McFartnuggets: “Are Sharks Attracted to Urine?”

Never underestimate
the senses of a shark.
Dear McFartnuggets: 
I was peeing in the ocean the other day at the beach and my friend told me I shouldn’t because urine attracts sharks. Is this true? -- Linda from Manhattan Beach, California

Dear Linda:
The science is a bit cloudy on this topic, but based on anecdotal evidence, many surfers who report shark attacks also report having peed in the water prior to the attack. You have to remember that sharks have an incredible sense of smell. I don’t think it’s farfetched to believe that sharks can smell urine the same way they can smell blood in the water. Sharks can detect one drop of blood in a million drops of water and smell it up to a quarter mile away. When you think about it, it would make sense for them to detect pee too since seals also urinate. Waiting for a seal to bleed can take awhile, but it’s going to be pissing far more frequently so if sharks can’t sense pee they damn well better learn. Also, it’s been said that sharks can sense fear and what’s something everyone does when they’re scared? They pee on themselves. The way I see it, there may not be any solid evidence either way, BUT why take the risk? Just be on the safe side, pee on the beach before you get into the water. What could that hurt? Just make sure no one sees your genitals.

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