Sharks are large water dwellers and grayish in color, with a lighter underside. They have an angular snout sporting a mouth filled with sharp teeth. Sharks come in at least thirteen different sizes. The smallest are able to be caught in a bucket. The larger shark it is, the more raw fish and bigger shark jaws can be harvested.
They leave a rising trail of small, square bubbles that rapidly shrink. These can ascend above the surface of the water.
While it may appear at times that a shark (particularly a large one) is out of the water or inside a solid block, this is only because it's location is determined by the position of its head and jaws. The rest of the shark can overlap adjacent spaces with no effect.
Oceans (large/deep bodies of water) are the preferred habitat of sharks, usually requiring the water to be over 16 blocks deep (too deep for a blockhead on the surface to view the bottom). They may tend to stay in deep water unless attracted by potential prey. Sharks may spawn in large aquariums with kelp and fish.
The larger the shark is, the more common it is to attack blockheads. Larger sharks are capable of inflicting more damage than young ones. Sharks will swim towards a blockhead in a boat or out of the water on a beach or other adjacent block and try to attack, but they cannot reach them. Young sharks and a shark that failed in an attack attempt tend to swim quickly away from blockheads. Sharks change direction whenever it receives damage from an attack. Sharks do not behave any differently when encountering fish.
A shark that comes within about half a dozen blocks of a blockhead will become more active, swimming faster and more likely to turn around.
Sharks will tend to swim deeper when ice begins to form and eventually appear infrequently near the surface of cold regions. Despite this, it is possible for a shark to become trapped in newly formed ice where it will soon despawn.
When a shark despawns, it makes a watery "bloop" sound. When approaching for a possible attack, there will be a two-chord sound reminiscent of the beginning of the theme to the movie "Jaws" (1975).
- See also: Creature Hit Chart
The number of blows required to kill a shark is dependent on its size. Small sharks can be dispatched with as little as one blow from an iron sword, while larger specimens may require four or more. The largest sharks have the highest levels of health of any non-playable creature in the game.
Currently there are three uses for sharks. One is for collecting shark jaws from killing sharks, which can be placed on back walls. Another one is for food and rare drops of clothing (which tends to spawn used and often dyed). Raw fish is in greater quantities than from fish when sharks are killed. The final use is for farming.
Young sharks are able to be caught in a bucket, creating a shark bucket which can then be moved and emptied into a different place. Sharks can only be placed in water. It's possible to build an aquarium of sharks, or let them grow up and then kill them for raw fish, shark jaws and clothing items.
Sharks can be very difficult to kill, as they will both flee an attacking blockhead and attack them when they're in the water, inflicting severe wounds. Very small sharks can be caught in buckets or killed with a single blow of a good tool, larger ones are immune to easy capture and require multiple blows from even an iron sword. Since the introduction of death in version 1.5, the easiest way to kill a shark is with a gold bow and poison arrows, although the shark will still need to be prevented from escaping.
One option (pictured to the right) is some way to confine a shark to a small area of water low enough for a blockhead to stand and walk in. The design here has a channel underneath the wood block for a shark to enter. A blockhead, waiting with sand in hand, stands several blocks above to avoid "spooking" an approaching shark. When the shark has entered the trap and cleared the space to the left (in this version) of the wood block, the blockhead will place the sand in that space and block the shark's exit. The shark can then be attacked at will. Removing the sand and retreating to the waiting spot resets the trap.
When introduced in version 1.2, there was a bug where large numbers of sharks could spawn in a tight group and slow down the game. This was immediately addressed in version 1.2.1, which reduced excessive spawns in affected worlds.