A Look at the Most Popular Sharks From Coast to Coast

min read
A header image for a blog about shark species popularity in every state
BetMGM Jun 26, 2024, 4:34 PM
Table of Contents
The Impact of Shark Week on Shark Popularity Across the U.S.
What’s The Most Popular Shark Species in Your State?
Closing Thoughts
Methodology

Card sharp (noun) is a person who makes money by cheating at card games; or a skilled player. Often misinterpreted as Card… shark. Interesting.

Peak summertime has arrived. Ice cream by the bucket, days spent crisping up on the beach, and, of course, Shark Week on the TV. 

To celebrate this time of the year, we decided to have a little fun with the common mix-up between card sharps and card sharks. Instead of our usual gambling content, we took a deep dive into waters unknown to learn more about shark popularity across the U.S.

Using Google Trends data over the past five years, we analyzed search interest to uncover the shark species that are most favored by residents in every state – and just how much Shark Week amps up our curiosity about these incredible fish.

Hop aboard the maritime vessel that is this blog as we explore the ebbs and flows of shark popularity from coast to coast, and reveal which species captivate America’s collective interest the most. As we cast off into parts unknown, one thing is clear: we’re gonna need a bigger boat.

The Impact of Shark Week on Shark Popularity Across the U.S.

Shark Week is a cultural phenomenon, drawing millions of viewers each year and significantly impacting search interest for various shark species. By analyzing search data over the last several years, we’ve uncovered fascinating insights into how Shark Week influences shark popularity.

Across all popular shark species in our study, search interest spiked by about 163% during Shark Week each of the past five years. The extra publicity is really making waves under the sea for sharks of all kinds. Let’s take a look at those it’s most and least impacting (in terms of popularity).

Top 5 Sharks with the Biggest Increase in Search Interest:

  • Blue Shark: 281% increase during Shark Week from the median search interest during the rest of the year.
  • Bull Shark: 265% increase.
  • Great White Shark: 263% increase.
  • Sand Tiger Shark: 253% increase.
  • Mako Sharks: 244% increase.

 

These sharks see the most significant boost in search interest, thanks to the extra eyeballs that Shark Week brings. 

Top 5 Sharks with the Lowest Increase in Search Interest:

  • Whale Shark: 69% increase during Shark Week from the median search interest during the rest of the year.
  • Goblin Shark: 96% increase.
  • Leopard Shark: 115% increase.
  • Hammerhead Shark: 121% increase.
  • Lemon Shark: 141% increase.

These sharks, on the other hand, see the smallest increase in search interest, indicating they’re less influenced by Shark Week’s spotlight and have enough fans to generate consistent interest throughout the year.

In the next sections, we’ll dive deeper into the regional trends and explore why certain sharks capture more attention than others in certain parts of the country.

To round out our foray into deep sea exploration, we analyzed search interest in every state to find the most popular shark species from coast to coast. Here’s what we discovered:

  • Greenland Shark: Most popular in 16 states. Known for being the longest-living vertebrate on earth, with a lifespan of up to 400 years according to National Geographic. Its incredible longevity (and ferocious appearance) makes it a fascinating species to behold.
  • Bull Shark: Most popular in 15 states, particularly in the South. These sharks are common in the Gulf of Mexico and off the southeastern U.S. coast, as noted by the National Wildlife Federation, meaning residents of these areas are likely more interested in Bull sharks than other kinds.
  • Goblin Shark: Most popular in 7 states. This shark’s unique appearance, with its long snout and jagged teeth, likely drives its popularity. Oceana highlights its distinctive look and adaptation to low-light environments, making it well worth some extra research.
  • Sand Tiger Shark: Most popular in 3 Northeastern states, likely due to its prevalence in the area as it tends to migrate to New England waters every autumn.

Beyond just the most popular sharks in our study, we also noticed some other interesting regional trends in the data. Some of the more notable insights we found were:

  • California – Leopard Shark: This species is frequently found in the shallow waters of bays and estuaries along the California coast.
  • Hawaii – Tiger Shark: A significant species in the local marine ecosystem and the most frequent attacker in Hawaiian waters.
  • Rhode Island – Thresher Shark: Commonly seen off Rhode Island during summer migrations.
  • South Carolina – Blacktip Shark: Often seen by beachgoers and fishermen in South Carolina’s coastal waters.
  • Maine – Great White Shark: Rare, but responsible for the few shark incidents that occur in Maine.
  • Massachusetts – Great White Shark: Frequently seen off Cape Cod, feeding on the seal population. Martha’s Vineyard is also where much of the famous horror movie Jaws was filmed, adding to the connection with the great shark.

Helped by natural observation, big-screen viewing, or even the extra publicity that Shark Week brings them, these monsters of the ocean capture the imagination of Americans across the country. Even in states without much of a coastline!

Closing Thoughts

Our dive into the murky depths of shark popularity revealed some interesting regional trends and a remarkable surge in interest during Shark Week. This annual celebration not only entertains but also educates us about the mysterious lives of these ocean dwellers.

While the frequent mix-ups between card sharps and card sharks inspired us to have a little fun, in truth, we learned a lot along the way and we hope you did, too. 

Just as Shark Week brings sharks into the spotlight, BetMGM brings the thrill of the casino to you. Whether you’re perfecting your poker face or marveling at the majesty of a great white, remember that BetMGM is here to add a splash of excitement to your summer. 

If shark diving is a bit out of your adrenaline range, check out our online casino table games for all the excitement you can handle.

Methodology

To determine the most popular shark species in every state, we compiled a list of 17 well-known sharks from one of the foremost authorities on all things sharks: Sharks.org. We then analyzed the regional interest of each shark on our list using Google Trends search interest over the past five years. We compared the search interests for each shark against each other to find the most popular shark species in every state. We used high search interest as an indicator of popularity.

We also analyzed search interest over time to see how big of a spike sharks see in terms of popularity thanks to things like Shark Week. We were able to determine the sharks that benefit most from the extra publicity.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.