Sink or swim: Mako sharks predict DeSantis, Nelson will win Florida race

Credit: Mario Tama

Credit: Mario Tama

Update 8:37 a.m. EDT Nov. 5: The shark race results are in: Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis will be Florida's next governor and Democrat Bill Nelson will retain his seat in the U.S. Senate, according to the results of Nova Southeastern University's shark race.

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Satellite tags were attached to the dorsal fins of four sharks by members of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and the shark that logged the most miles would "win" the election, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

In the governor's "race," the DeSantis shark swam 371.18 miles, while the shark for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum logged only 8.21 miles. Nelson's shark, meanwhile, traveled 785.27 miles, and Gov. Rick Scott’s shark had 130.88 miles.

"Our nonpartisan sharks have spoken, um, swum and they have made their predictions," said Mahmood Shivji, director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute. "Our racing mako sharks did a perfect job predicting the presidential elections two years ago, so we'll see what happens come Nov. 6."

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Original report: Fins to the left. Fins to the right. Four mako sharks will be used by a Florida university to predict Florida's contentious midterm elections, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The shark “race” began Oct. 16 and will end Nov. 3, three days before the elections.

Nova Southeastern University's Guy Harvey Research Institute held a similar race for the 2016 presidential election, pitting a male shark (representing Donald Trump) against a female (representing Hillary Clinton), the newspaper reported. The male shark predicted Trump would win.

"Once again we turn to our sharks for their wisdom and expertise," Richard Dodge, dean of the university's Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, told the Sun-Sentinel. "The sharks did a pretty good job two years ago, so let's see how they do this year."

Each shark has a satellite tag attached to its dorsal fin. Every time the shark’s fin breaks the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, the tag pings the animal’s location. The sharks that swim the most miles will be named the winners of the election.

Each shark will represent a candidate, the Sun-Sentinel reported. In the gubernatorial race, one shark will represent Rep. Ron DeSantis and one will race for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. The Senate race will pit sharks representing incumbent Bill Nelson and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

The sharks can be tracked at or by following #makoprediction on social media.

"This is a fun way to focus attention on the research NSU scientists are doing and the plight of sharks in our oceans,'' Dodge told the Sun-Sentinel.

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