Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ridiculous Hypotheticals: Bear vs. Shark

After a mildly successful Ridiculous Hypothetical #1, The Couchwarmers are happy to bring you the second installment in what we hope will become a recurring series here. This one goes back to a scholarly debate that would come up somewhat frequently while I was at school. After graduation, I brought this question to some friends at my job. Several new rounds of heated deliberation followed.

While we all had our opinions though, this question has never been decided scientifically (you know, by website voting). Therefore, I think it's about time we settled this one once and for all. Today's question:

If a bear fought a shark in neutral territory, who would win?

The explanations and ground rules:
  • The bear is the biggest, strongest, deadliest type of bear. The shark is the biggest, strongest, deadliest type of shark.
  • The fight takes place in an environment where the shark can swim just as freely as if he was in water, and the bear can walk and move his limbs just as freely as if he was on land. Both can breathe in this environment.
  • The fight is over when one of them dies. The one still living is declared the winner.
  • Bears may not use guns. Sharks may not use laser beams.

Once again, this is where you come in. Take a side here and email us with the best argument you've got as to who would win this fight and why. Basically, this is your chance to convince the other side that you're right and they're wrong. We'll take the best arguments from each side, post them, and then let you guys vote to determine the winner.

Also, if you have any questions/clarifications about this hypothetical that you think would help you and others better answer the question, just post them in the comments. We'll respond when we see them.

We know you guys won't disappoint on this one, so thanks in advance for taking time out of your weekend to help us out. Have a great Memorial Day.


  1. * Can sharks use guns? Can bears use laser beams?
    * Is there an upper limit on the shark's vertical mobility? As in, what are the boundaries of this 'neutral territory'?

  2. I knew someone had to be a douche about it. No weapons other than God-given tools.

    No space limits. Although the shark won't just swim high and stall. As the ref, I'll enforce a no stalling rule.

  3. Bears can swim, run at amazing speeds AND climb trees. They are deadly anywhere, they also have limbs which give them reach. Sharks can be disabled with a conk on the nose ( Bears cannot be "fought off," sharks can. Game over, Bears win.

  4. Bear. Not even close.

    Rooooccckkk chaaaallllkkk Jaayyyyhaaaawwwwk Baaaaaayyyyuuuuuuuuuwwwwwwhhhh

  5. schnur, its time you posted the results....
    the bear has no argument it just flayles its arms and hopes (spray and pray)

  6. sharks: vs bears: ?

    Nice hypothetical. Sharks FTW

  7. there is a crucial difference between a bear using a gun and a shark using a laser beam. a shark has no hands and thus cannot attach and/or operate a laser beam. in effect, a shark with a laser beam is a WEAPONIZED shark, which would be an entirely different beast than a normal shark. a bear, meanwhile, has hands and can operate a gun. therefore, the bear should be able to use a gun, knife, sword, throwing star, and/or twin sais (a la raphael the ninja turtle), whereas the shark must remain unweaponized.
    the bear wins.