The Smelly Truth: Do Sharks Fart?

do sharks fart

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Sharks are notorious for their fierce reputation and predatory status, but just like humans, they have some manners that are not so pleasant.

The typical shark’s body is around 85% muscle, compared to about 35 – 45% in humans. All this muscle requires food (a LOT of it) to stay at the top of the food chain.

With so much food passing through the shark’s system, gas can start to build up in the body which needs to be released.

This begs the question that we’re all intrigued to learn the answer to. “Do sharks fart?”

YES, one species of shark known as the Sand Tiger Shark is known to expel gas bubbles from its cloaca, also known as ripping a big fart!

Do Sharks Really Pass Gas?

Believe it or not, YES, sharks do fart. Sand tiger sharks take in air from the surface of the water to store it and prevent them from drowning whilst they are not swimming.

Gulping in the air allows tiger sharks to alter their buoyancy, ensuring that they float instead of sink when desired.

Once the shark wants to release its’s buoyancy and sink, it will release this air in the form of a squelchy fart!


Which Species Of Shark Farts?

Currently, the only known species of shark to fart is the sand tiger shark, but more research is needed to discover if other species exhibit the same smelly behavior.

Sharks rely on their oily liver for buoyancy, so having trapped air inside of their bodies would likely disrupt that which is why it may only be the sand sharks that do this.

That said, it’s currently unknown whether other shark species fart. The gas disperses so quickly in water so it’s rarely behavior that is observed.

Check out this rare video of a shark farting below:

Why Do Sharks Fart?

The reason sand tiger sharks fart is to release air that they have purposely trapped in their bodies for buoyancy.

This allows them to then swim down into the deep and sink themselves when needed, such as when they are chasing prey or avoiding other large predators.

Even captive sand tiger sharks have been known to expel gas bubbles out of their cloaca, but there’s still more research needed.

Why Is Shark Fart Green?

If you’ve watched the above video, you’ll notice that the shark fart is a lime green color which only adds to the grossness!

But why is that? Why is shark fart green?

Well, the color is green as it refers to a combination of cracked blood and tissue pigments from the shark’s prey, as well as greenish bile and yellow pigments that the shark produces.

Sadly there has not been a lot of research conducted on shark farting, so there are still a lot of unknowns that are yet to be answered.

Final Thoughts

So, “do sharks fart?” YES, the sand tiger is currently the only species of shark known to fart!

It does this to release air that it has purposely trapped inside of its body so that it can stop swimming and release buoyancy.

Many sharks need to continue swimming constantly or they will drown, as their gills need to have water pushed over them to extract oxygen.

Whereas the sand tiger shark will gulp air when near the surface and fill itself up with air so that it can stop swimming. This is why you’ll often see these sharks sitting at the bottom of aquariums.

However, this air needs to be removed when the shark needs to lose buoyancy, and the way it does this is by farting.

Sand tiger sharks fart to release the trapped air that they have gulped, and this comes out in a nasty, greenish color that is mixed with bile and pigment.

Hopefully, this article has answered your question and you now know why sharks fart and which species do so!

Thanks for taking the time to learn about these wonderful animals and feel free to stick around and learn more.

Until next time!