‘Baby Shark’ Used by West Palm Beach Officials to Drive Away Homeless People

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West Palm Beach (photo: Ethan Oringel CC by 2.0)

Shark Attack: West Palm Beach city officials play ‘Baby Shark’ to dissuade people from sleeping on the beach.

West Palm Beach officials have started to play “Baby Shark,” a hit children’s song that’s amassed more than one billion YouTube views, to deter homeless individuals from sleeping on the beach.

As its name suggests, West Palm Beach is located to the west of Palm Beach proper. And as both cities’ names make clear, relaxing waves and clean sandy beaches are a big part of their appeal. West Palm Beach representatives emphasized this point when justifying the continuous nighttime playing of “Baby Shark.” Moreover, these same representatives advised those who’ve made a habit of sleeping on the beach to seek refuge in one of West Balm Beach’s many shelters.

West Palm Beach officials also indicated that “Baby Shark” isn’t exactly blaring through speakers, as its volume is said to meet all the city’s noise-ordinance requirements. Thus, it’s unclear if the music will drive beach dwellers away.

Using music to persuade individuals to do — or not to do — something isn’t a new tactic.

However, in most instances — including when the U.S. military played rock music to force Manuel Noreiga to surrender — maximum volume is usually utilized. Though this “Baby Shark” plan is more humane, we’ll have to wait and see if it’s effective.

As was mentioned, “Baby Shark” has garnered over one billion YouTube views, and the song’s appeal, popularity, and reach aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. A “Baby Shark” Nickelodeon show is in the works, and the song has even been used by UFC fighter Bryan Barberena, who wanted to entertain his kids while he made his way to the cage.

“Baby Shark” is a simple and pleasant song, but as they say, variety is the spice of life, and when it’s played repeatedly, the track could well prompt beach sleepers to find a new spot to rest.