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Is Music Making Us Overly Afraid Of Sharks?

The ominous music used to soundtrack footage of sharks, from Jaws to nature documentaries, has led us to believe that the animals are deadlier than they really are.

Sharks may be some of the world’s most misunderstood animals. Their perceived deadliness makes humans less likely to contribute to efforts to save the predators, even as they slowly go extinct due to overfishing and environmental damage. A new study by PLOS ONE shows that the soundtrack to movies and nature documentaries about sharks contributes to their nasty reputation on dry land.

A group that watched shark clips with “ominous” music rated the animals poorly compared to those who watch the clips with different music or no sounds at all. This, of course, is a completely unsurprising study, when you consider that this is the point of all soundtracks in movies, television, advertisements and radio.

Sharks do have an affinity for death metal, though, proving that even if they aren’t that scary, they’re still pretty rad.

(Via Scientific American)