How does it work?

Eye See Shark uses biomimicry to help deter sharks. 

All around us in nature, we see animals using large 'false eyes' to deter and distract predators, some examples of these include fish, caterpillars, frogs and butterflies. Many other animals will also make themselves look larger when threatened to help deter attack

Eye See Shark deterrent stickers use both of these learnings to help protect you in the water:

  1. The eyes let the shark know that it has been spotted - this should encourage the shark to move off and find an easier target, that hasn't yet spotted them​​

  2. The LARGE eyes, make you & your board appear larger than you actually are - the shark is going to have to think twice before attempting to attack a larger, potentially dangerous form of prey.

Deterrent
Eye

Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy Greg Rothschild

How effective is the deterrent?

Fishermen in Sundarbans, India, wear masks on the back of their heads to deter tiger attacks.

Considering stealth or ambush predators such as Great White Sharks & Bengal Tigers, a significant number of attacks are recorded as occurring from 'behind' the victim, or more notably, the rear left flank (as most mammals are right handed). The sharks and tigers most often target their prey's 'blind-spot'.

Logically, if this is the preferred angle of attack, defending your potential 'blind-spots', will significantly reduce the chances of being attached. 

In Sundarbans, India, this theory was trialled - fisherman decided to wear masks on the back of their heads to avoid attacks by tigers - and it is reported to have worked!

Similarly, if a shark is spotted by the Eye See Shark deterrent sticker, they are likely to move off to an easier target that hasn't yet spotted them.

 

We are confident that the Eye See Shark deterrent stickers reduce the risk of attack significantly. This could be compared to wearing a seat belt in a car - although seat belts are also not 100% effective in saving lives for every single accident; there is no harm in wearing it and it does have the potential to save your life. 

What is the scientific research?

While Eye See Shark is in the process of conducting their own scientific research, many other research papers have already been published on the effects of 'Eyespots against predation', to list a few:

  • Blest AD. 1957 - The function of eyespot patterns in the Lepidoptera. 

  • Vallin A, Jakobsson S, Lind J & Wiklund C. 2005 - Prey survival by predator intimidation: an experimental study of peacock butterfly defence against blue tits. 

  • Stevens M. 2005 - The role of eyespots as anti-predator mechanisms, principally demonstrated in the Lepidoptera. 

  • Stevens M & Ruxton GD. 2014 - Do animal eyespots really mimic eyes?

  • De Bona, Valkonen, López-Sepulcre, Mappes 2015, Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots

The most recent paper by De Bona (2015) states that "About 68% of the birds [attacking an insect] shown the image with the eye-mimicking spots either flew away or showed signs of being startled."

Eyespots shown on a butterfly's wings