A Big Bite of Shark

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

A Big Bite of Shark

August 6, 2014

Normally we think of sharks as those scary fish that might bite us. But don’t worry, we humans get to bite back — when we eat shark for dinner. Shark steaks are pretty tasty to a lot of folks, so people do catch and sell sharks for their meat, and handling those sharks can get pretty extreme. A fisherman in China caught a 16-foot long whale shark in his fishing net, weighing more than 2 tonnes. It was so huge that he had to drape it over a truck to drive it to the fish market! Whale sharks are endangered, so fishermen are not allowed to fish for them and sell them…but since this one had sadly already died in his fishing net, he’s allowed to sell it without being punished with a fine. Most people can’t eat more than a half-pound steak at a time, so that shark is going to feed a lot of hungry fish lovers.

Wee ones: Do you know how tall you are? Who’s longer, you or a 16-foot shark?

Little kids: If the shark is 16 feet long and they wanted a truck that was 1 foot longer to carry it, how long would that truck have been?  Bonus: If instead they got this 14-foot truck, how much longer was the shark?

Big kids: The fisherman had to drive with that huge fish on his truck for a half hour. If he started the trip at 2:39 pm in the afternoon, when did he and his smelly passenger reach the fish market?  Bonus: The shark weighs 2 tonnes, which means 2000 kg…which is about 4,400 pounds they had to lift on and off the truck. If a person can carry 100 pounds, how many people would it have taken to pick up that crazy fish?




Wee ones: The difference is different for everyone, but the shark is definitely longer!

Little kids: 17 feet long.  Bonus: 2 feet longer.

Big kids: At 3:09 pm.  Bonus: 44 people.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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