Scientists in Australia are claiming that great white sharks, also known as white pointers, are attracted by music from the Australian rock band AC/DC — particularly "Shook Me All Night Long" and "Back in Black."
A tour operator in South Australia's Neptune Bay, Matt Waller, has observed that when sharks hear the AC/DC hits, they are drawn to the source of the music, according to Australian Geographic.
Waller told Australian news outlet ABC News: "I was talking to a guy who had been diving in Guadeloupe and there were some divers there who just been playing music in the water. We got talking and they said there were some certain songs that saw an actual change in the behavior of the sharks."
Using underwater speakers attached to diving cages, employees of Waller's Adventure Bay Charters pumped various Australian rock hits through the water.
Australian Geographic writes:
"Most of Matt's tunes had no effect, but when the great whites heard the AC/DC songs, they swam up and rubbed their faces against the source of the music."
Waller, acknowledging that he was no expert on shark behavior, said he didn't know exactly why they found AC/DC — a group formed in the 1970s by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young and which has sold 200 million albums worldwide — so appealing.
"Sharks don't have ears, they don't have long hair, and they don't head bang past the cage doing the air guitar," he says.
The sharks are probably drawn to the low frequencies found in AC/DC's music, and Matt wants to test out this theory. "Once we've got a range of songs, we can electronically identify a common characteristic between those songs," he says.
"I started going through my albums and AC/DC was something that really hit the mark. Their behavior was more investigative, more inquisitive and a lot less aggressive," Waller told the ABC. "They actually came past on a couple of occasions when we had the speaker in the water and rubbed their face along the speaker which was really bizarre."
He said the sharks rubbed their faces "as if to feel" the sound.
Waller's findings could help cage-diving operations become more environmentally sustainable by reducing the amount of berley used on tours, Australian Geographic writes.
He said his Adventure Bay Charters was the only company in the world using music, not bait, to attract sharks.
He said Led Zeppelin was next on his playlist for the sharks, although his children had suggested a more updated rock sound in the form of music by the White Stripes and Wolfmother.
"We know the AC/DC music works best by trial and error and we are doing more research to see what works best with different species of shark," Waller said, according to metro.co.uk.