Listen, I’m sure you’re very cute. Certainly cute enough that you don’t need to pose as a shark in order to rack up the right swipes on Tinder. But! I am simply saying, to those of you who feel internet dating has grown repetitive and stale, it might be time to switch up your profile pictures. Specifically, time to switch them all to photos of this neat walking (!!!) shark, whom CNN aptly describes as “just kind of adorable.” In a word … yes.
Scientists discovered four new species of this impressive shark — native to Australia and New Guinea — after 12 years of research, each and every one of which appear to have been worth it. Walking sharks, also known as epaulette sharks, do not stand upright on their hind flippers and run-waggle forward, as you might have imagined; rather, they use their “muscular” side fins (swole sharks) to paddle along reefs like lizards over rocks.
“They are not big swimmers,” Mark Erdmann — a coral-reef ecologist at the California Academy of Sciences, vice-president of the Asia-Pacific Field Division of Conservation International, and an author of the study that alerted us to all these compelling types of shark — told Vice. “They stay on the same reef where they are born. They are very much homebodies.” Relatable.
According to University of Queensland marine biologist Christine Dudgeon, the study’s lead author, “The [sharks’] ability to withstand low-oxygen environments and walk on their fins gives them a remarkable edge over their prey of small crustaceans and mollusks,” just as your use of their photos will give you an edge over your Tinder competition. Most people aren’t actual sharks, so this strategy will almost assuredly set you apart from the pack.
To be clear, I’m not encouraging you to stage a catch-of-the-day photograph in which you pluck one of these sea babies from the shallows and brandish it for the camera, as many straight dudes are wont to do on dating apps. I am encouraging you to replace all your existing profile pictures with images of this walking shark. Go on, she won’t bite!! But Tinder matches will :) hahahaha in all seriousness, though: I think this is the only circumstance under which it is okay to catfish someone. Who could be mad, scrolling through four to seven images of this handsome stripe-y specimen?