Mark Zuckerberg wears surf bracelet to repel sharks
- Mark Zuckerberg was pictured wearing a Sharkbanz bracelet while surfing recently.
- The device is designed to keep sharks at bay by emitting electromagnetic current, although some experts have expressed doubts about its effectiveness.
- Barack Obama has previously been pictured wearing the device.
- Sign up for the daily 10 Things in Tech newsletter.
On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was spotted wearing a bracelet designed to protect against shark attacks while surfing.
TMZ Pictures Zuckerberg watch with a Sharkbanz ankle strap while riding his hydrofoil surfboard in Kauai, Hawaii. A Sharkbanz spokesperson confirmed that the Facebook co-founder purchased a Sharkbanz 2 device on the Company Website.
Earlier this month, Zuckerberg posted a video on the surfboard. In the video, he appears to be wearing the bracelet.
$ 84 Sharkbanz bracelet claims it can repel sharks by emit an electric current which is designed to keep sharks at bay by interfering with the shark’s ability to sense electromagnetic fields when searching for prey.
Despite its popularity, some experts have been wary of the device in the past. The late diver Erich Ritter, known for filming “Bull Sharks: World’s Deadliest Sharks,” told German publication Deutsche Welle (DW) in 2017 that he believed Sharkbanz was not working.
“These Sharkbanz only act as a psychological safeguard,” he said. “They have no effect at all.”
Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach, said Inertia, a surf and outdoor publication, which he has yet to see data to support the use of products like Sharkbanz. However, Sharkbanz provided several videos showing bull sharks avoiding dummies wearing the device. The bracelet has also been verified by third-party research at Coastal Carolina University, according to the company site.
Ritter said the magnets on the bracelet are nowhere near strong enough to deter a shark. He pointed to an incident in 2016 when a A 16-year-old boy was bitten by a shark in Florida wearing a Sharkbanz bracelet. At the time of the crash, Sharkbanz co-founder Nathan Garrison said the shark attack was an anomaly and explained that the device is only able to protect against certain types of attacks.
Zuckerberg’s hydrofoil surfboard also has a zebra pattern on the bottom that is said to be designed to deter sharks. In theory, the stripes make it difficult for sharks to identify their prey.
It was not the first time Zuckerberg on a hydrofoil board. In 2019, the CEO posted another surf video.