Support Provided ByLearn More

Kryptonite for Sharks

Marine biologist Patrick Rice is using rare earth elements to repel sharks.
Publish Date: Topic: NatureNatureNova

While on a quest to create effective shark repellents, marine biologist Patrick Rice stumbled upon an unexpected type of shark "kryptonite." He found that rare earth elements, like samarium, create an electric current when they are submerged in salt water next to a shark fin. Fishing hooks made out of rare earth elements could repel sharks while still luring other types of fish.

Support Provided ByLearn More

Explore More

Major funding for "Hunting the Elements" is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Additional funding for "Hunting the Elements" is provided by the Department of Energy and by the Millicent and Eugene Bell Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Award Number DE-SC0007358. Disclaimer: This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendations, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.