Research being done at Oklahoma Aquarium to develop shark bite-resistant suit

JENKS, Okla. — Oklahoma has an apex predator from the ocean.

“Oklahoma has bull sharks,” said John Sundnes.

Who knew?

“It’s a really unique thing, and if people don’t know is here, they should come see it,” said John Money, Deputy Director of the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks.

Money said it’s a well-known fact.

“The bull sharks have gotten us a lot of attention, we’re, like I said, the only ones showing them in the United States,” he said.

Sundes was excited to find that tout.

“We reached out and they were willing to do the research,” he said.

Sundnes is the executive director of ironskinn, a company based out of New Zealand. They develop shark bite-resistant suits and needed bull sharks and an aquarium that has them.

“It is the only one in the western hemisphere that we’re aware of,” Sundes said.

The bull shark is good for one thing.

“What’s particularly terrifying about the bull shark bite is that when they bite on, they, generally, will pull and they will thrash, and generate incredible lateral force,” Sundes said.

Which helps ironskinn improve the suit.

These sharks have a made a great business partner at ironskinn, minus the handshake, and now will be helping teach curriculum and provide important research at Oklahoma State University (OSU).

“These forces of shark, the bull shark bull, specifically, biting and tearing have never been measured we’ll publish this data in an academic journal,” said James Smay, a Ph.D. Professor at OSU-Tulsa.