The real reason why this pic of sharks right off the Florida coast is scary.

Thousands of sharks are hanging out near Fort Lauderdale right now.

Right now, there are tens of thousands of sharks chilling off the coast of Florida.

If you ask me — someone who is terribly afraid of sharks — this aerial shot is what nightmares are made of.

Photo by Mark Mohlmann​, used with permission from Stephen Kajiura​.


These marine beasts are on the move. Just like (most) humans, sharks don't like swimming in frigid waters. So every winter, they wander to warmer temperatures. Like the coast of Florida.

While cold-blooded shark-phobic Chicagoans like me would be running in the opposite direction, Floridans haven't let this swarm of migrating toothy killers complicate their beach plans. You can still spot them swimming, boating, and paddle boarding near the Palm Beach County coastline doing their thing — as if there aren't fanged, blood-thirsty sea savages just hundreds of feet away. (Officials haven't stopped them from their fun in the sun, either! How irresponsible.)

...OK, I get it — they're not that bad. My irrational fear of sharks is completely distorting the situation. But still ... you wouldn't judge me for postponing my Florida vacay right about now, right?

Photo by Mark Mohlmann​, used with permission from Stephen Kajiura​.

These sharks aren't actually all that scary when you get your facts straight.

Despite the images that look like they were snapped during the filming of some twisted version of "Jaws 5," (they're on #5, right?) these creatures aren't so bad.

These are blacktip sharks. They average about six feet in length, and — despite the swarms of black dots you see on these photos — are actually on the "near-threatened" list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, as The Washington Post noted. For the most part, they stay clear of people.

Photo by Mark Mohlmann​, used with permission from Stephen Kajiura​.

“These sharks are pretty skittish,” Stephen Kajiura, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University who's tagging the animals to better understand how they migrate across open waters, told ABC News. “So when they see a human, they swim away.”

Although blacktip sharks have the largest number of bites than any other shark in Florida (in large part because they're the most common), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that they've never killed anyone there. For the most part, they do their thing, and we do ours.

While the sharks themselves aren't all that scary, their migration patterns hint at something a bit more terrifying.

Yep. It's climate change: the ultimate party pooper. 

Usually, the sharks would migrate a bit farther south, toward Miami, according to Kajiura. But it seems as though they've found just the right temperatures near neighboring Fort Lauderdale this year. And a warming ocean may play a role in the sharks' decision to stay put up the coast.

“It looks like there’s a correlation between global warming and [the blacktip sharks'] expanding range,” Kajiura told The Christian Science Monitor. “They’re moving further north to find their ideal temperature.”

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

While this doesn't pose an increased safety risk to any people (again, these sharks aren't nearly as villainous or terrifying as my shark-phobia suggests), this "expanding range" Kajiura speaks of should raise some eyebrows.

Climate change is drastically changing our oceans and the life in them, and the effects are (and will continue to be) costly.

Increasingly higher temperatures could make our oceans unrecognizable by the end of this century unless carbon emissions are slashed big time (and soon), research suggests.

Photo by Torsten Blackwood - Pool/Getty Images.

study released last summer found that by 2100, climate change could be the culprit of the most dramatic re-arrangement of marine life in at least 3 million years, as Mashable reported. 

Oceans near the poles (where not a whole lot of people live) will see a big rise in sea life as its waters heat up, while biodiversity in waters near the equator (where lots of people live) will plummet. This could have huge ramifications on industries like fishing, and mean major (and expensive) economic shifts.

“It’s really worrying, because this is the whole ocean that will change,” Grégory Beaugrand, who co-authored the study published in the journal, "Nature Climate Change," told Mashable.

This re-arrangement "will have a devastating impact on fisherman and from a socioeconomic point of view."

There's reason to hope the world is finally taking climate change more seriously, though. And that's good news for sharks (and people).

Last year was historic in the fight against global warming. A United Nations summit in Paris brought together countries from all over the world — including the major carbon offenders (yeah, I'm looking at you, America and China) — to set ambitious goals to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Environmentalists are cautiously optimistic the agreed upon carbon targets could be a turning point.

Photo by Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images.

And, hey, get this: Due to increased use of renewable energies and China slowly kicking its dirty coal habit, 2015 is expected to be the very first year the world's carbon emissions stalled — or even declined — during a year of global economic growth, the BBC reported. That's pretty huge.

It's a good thing humanity is finally waking up to the dangers of climate change, because it's not just sharks whose home hangs in the balance.

Let's keep this earth as green (and blue) as long as we can.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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