Ask any one who's expecting and wanting to get away from it all to endure the rigors of pregnancy. To them, a day spa would be like the ultimate short-term getaway. The same apparently goes for sharks.
In particular, pregnant Dusky sharks love to spoil themselves, which which is what they do off the coast of Hadera, Israel between December and March. According to some locals, the presence of these predatory fish is one of the surest signs of winter. Biologists are unsure why they picked this spot in particular, much less where they originate.
It turns out a current of warm water, which is actually runoff from the Hadera power plant, draws in the sharks, who seem to think of it as a giant jacuzzi. It's also why divers who frequent the waters refer to the area as a "day spa".
So attractive is this gigantic whirlpool, that on any given day during the winter months, it's not unusual to see dozens of these sharks lazily swimming around. Seeing such a large group together is unusual, but given that they're considered to be open-water sharks that tend to live further away from coastlines, seeing them this close to shore seldom happens.
Dusky sharks can grow up to four meters, roughly 12 feet, in length, which like any other shark that size, sharp teeth notwithstanding, makes them potentially dangerous. But one biologist who's spent time in the waters off Hadera claimed that they haven't displayed any aggression, more or less ignoring the divers.
Even though spectators can see Dusky sharks every year off the Israel coast, chances are you won't see the same animal every year. The gestation period of a shark is roughly 22 months, meaning that females are likely to give birth at least once every three years, usually delivering a litter of between six to 12 babies. Dusky shark nurseries are situated off the coast of South Africa, the Southeastern U.S. and Southwest Australia.
Those wanting to pack scuba gear to check these sharks out are well advised that even though they haven't shown to be dangerous to humans in the makeshift day spa, they should still be treated with respect and some distance.
In short, they're no different than any pregnant mom trying to take advantage of some down time. Kudos to these sharks for finding a spot to chill out!