10 Things We Learned From Wicked Tuna

Brought to you by the National Geographic Channel

Besides providing hours of entertainment as top fishermen compete to reel in bluefin tuna that can weigh over a thousand pounds, National Geographic Channel’s Wicked Tuna also packs in some interesting facts. Check out some of the things we learned by watching Wicked Tuna.

1. The biggest bluefin caught in the north Atlantic with rod and reel was a fish taken off Nova Scotia in 1979, which weighed 1,496 pounds.

2. A large bluefin tuna can take about 200 yards of fishing line as it tries to get away from the fishing boat. The fisherman's goal is to gradually slow down the fish, which can swim up to 40 miles per hour at top speed, to three miles per hour.

3. There are many ways to catch bluefin tuna—including handline, harpoon, purse-seine nets, and longlines—but US fishermen overwhelmingly use rod and reel. The fishermen in Wicked Tuna use the rod and reel method, or hook and line fishing. They employ short fishing lines with hooks and specific bait to attract bluefin tuna, one fish at a time. Once they have reeled the fish in, they harpoon it before bringing it aboard the ship.

4. A decade ago, most bluefin fishermen used extremely heavy-duty lines and hooks. In recent years, however, fishermen have switched to lighter-weight equipment—"shy gear," in fishing lingo—which they claim is necessary because bluefin have learned not to go for the gear they previously used.

5. On average, all bluefin tuna populations are estimated to be at about a quarter of 1950s levels. It's important to protect bluefin tuna levels by catching fish responsibly and eating sustainable seafood.

6. The US accounts for about 5% of the global bluefin tuna catch, and over half of the US catch is exported, mainly to Japan. About 3/4 of the global bluefin catch goes to Japan where its fatty flesh is consumed as the highest grades of sushi and sashimi - maguro and toro.

7. The Northern or Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) that the Wicked Tuna fishermen fish for is made up of one relatively small population that gathers annually in the Gulf of Mexico to reproduce.

8. “Cow,” in Wicked Tuna speak, actually refers to a really big fish. For example, “Whoa, you hooked a cow!”

9. In 2013, Kiyoshi Kimura, the owner of a Japanese sushi restaurant chain, paid $1.76 million for the first bluefin tuna of the season at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, which weighed 489 pounds.

10. Wicked Tuna has a new spin-off show, Wicked Tuna: North vs. South, premiering August 17 at 10/9c on the National Geographic Channel. It features four of the northern captains as they go south to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to salvage their finances after a disappointing fishing season in New England. Check out how they fare against the more experienced locals in the unfamiliar and dangerous waters of the Outer Banks.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The 10 Best Shark Movies of All Time, According to Rotten Tomatoes

MCA/Universal Home Video
MCA/Universal Home Video

If the ongoing popularity of shark films has taught us anything, it’s that we simply can’t spend enough screen time with these predators, who can famously ruin a beach day with one swift gnash of their teeth. And even if shark attacks are far less common than Hollywood would have us believe, it’s still entertaining to watch a great white stalk an unsuspecting fictional swimmer—or, in the case of 2013’s Sharknado, whirl through the air in a terrifying cyclone.

To celebrate Shark Week this week, Rotten Tomatoes has compiled a list of the best shark movies of all time, ranked by aggregated critics' score. Unsurprisingly topping the list is Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws, which quite possibly ignited our societal fixation on great white sharks. The second-place finisher was 2012’s Kon-Tiki, based on the true story of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s harrowing voyage across the Pacific Ocean on a wooden raft in 1947.

If you did happen to write off Sharknado as too kitschy to be worth the watch, you might want to reconsider—it ranks sixth on the list, with a score of 78 percent, and its 2014 sequel sits in ninth place, with 61 percent. The list doesn’t only comprise dramatized shark attacks. In seventh place is Jean-Michel Cousteau’s 2005 documentary Sharks 3D, a fascinating foray into the real world of great whites, hammerheads, and more.

But for every critically acclaimed shark flick, there’s another that flopped spectacularly. After you’ve perused the highest-rated shark films below, check out the worst ones on Rotten Tomatoes’ full list here.

  1. Jaws (1975) // 98 percent
  1. Kon-Tiki (2012) // 81 percent
  1. The Reef (2010) // 80 percent
  1. Sharkwater (2007) // 79 percent
  1. The Shallows (2016) // 78 percent
  1. Sharknado (2013) // 78 percent
  1. Sharks 3D (2004) // 75 percent
  1. Open Water (2004) // 71 percent
  1. Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) // 61 percent
  1. Jaws 2 (1978) // 60 percent

[h/t Rotten Tomatoes]