Sharks Now Tweet When Approaching the Beach

Turning transmitter data into Twitter alerts

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It used to be that when you wanted to warn ocean-goers about shark-infested waters, the only solution was to send a panicked Roy Scheider running down the beaches. But this system largely proved unscalable, particularly after the Jaws star died in 2008.

Thankfully, Twitter is up to the task. A group called Surf Life Saving Western Australia has connected transmitters on tagged sharks to an automated Twitter warning system. The resulting tweets (see examples below) warn surfers and beachgoers about the size, breed and location of sharks that come within a kilometer of the shore.

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