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Science says there’s a reason the baby shark song is so popular

by Ünal Güler

If you have children, or know someone who has children, you’ve probably heard of the popular song “Baby Shark.” I mean, it’s like that one song you can’t escape. Besides that, there’s a reason Why the song “Baby Shark” is so popular and ultimately so easy to get stuck in your head, here’s why…

Text: Pinkfong Baby Shark - Pinkfong presents the best of Baby Shark - Baby Shark cartoon featuring baby shark and friends in the sea
Everyone sing along to the baby shark song!

The song “Baby Shark” has become an internet sensation and quite frankly one of the ways I can calm my 10 month old daughter when she’s picky or upset.

The reason the song “Baby Shark” is so popular is because it’s a catchy, easy-to-remember song with repetitive lyrics, and its upbeat melody can turn a frown.

This is a very popular children’s song about a whole family of sharks. From Mommy Shark, Baby Shark, to Dad, Grandpa, and Granny Shark! I don’t think I know of an animal song that’s as popular as this song.

Baby Shark Song doo doo doo doo doo doo - Cartoon with the words
Running away from the scary sharks?

While that’s the main reason the song is so good, it really has a scientific reason that makes it one of the most viral songs in history and a song that you and your kids will want to hear again and again.

To date, the song “Baby Shark” has been viewed over 3 million times on YouTube (since it was originally uploaded in 2016), so it’s worth paying attention to why… Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo

Video: Song and lyrics by Baby Shark

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
baby shark!

Mama shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Mama shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Mama shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Mama Shark!

Daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
papa shark!

Grandma Hai, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Grandma Hai, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Grandma Hai, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Grandma Shark!

Grandpa Hai, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Grandpa Hai, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Grandpa Hai, doo doo doo doo doo doo
grandpa shark!

Let’s go hunting, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Let’s go hunting, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Let’s go hunting, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Let’s go hunting!

Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Run away!

Finally safe, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Finally safe, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Finally safe, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Finally safe!

It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo
It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo
It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo
It’s the end!

These are the lyrics of Azlyrics. I keep watching so many new videos but this is my favorite video and it teaches you the baby shark dance moves. These Baby Shark dance moments are fun, but could that have something to do with Baby Shark’s huge popularity on the show? I do not believe that.

I think it’s a viral hit because of the music alone, but the short videos and dance moves are entertaining.

At one point I jokingly told my husband that there was probably a hidden message in the song that made us all want to listen to it. HA. But in reality it is more complex! There MUST be something that makes this song a global phenomenon, taking over social media beyond the catchy rhythm.

  1. The beat is upbeat and worth dancing to
  2. The lyrics are repetitive and easy to remember
  3. The music video is funny and colorful
  4. The video contains animals and everyone loves animals!
  5. Kids love it and when kids love it how can we not?
Baby shark cartoon screenshot of a boy acting like a shark with the words doo doo doo doo doo doo.

But that doesn’t really explain the scientific reason why it keeps getting stuck in your head and making you feel viral. According to research, studies have shown that “catchy tunes” are the reason some songs just stick to us like glue.

A “catchy tune” is basically a part of a song that our brain sings. Basically, it’s our brain singing a song. In fact, according to a study published in Papers presented at the 10th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition proved how often people suffer from these catchy tunes:

A study conducted among 12,420 Finnish internet users revealed that 91.7% of people reported experiencing this phenomenon (catchy tunes) at least once a week.

Repetitive music or songs like “Baby Shark” can create catchy tunes that cause us to often repeat snippets of the songs in our heads. Then we feel the desire to listen to the song over and over again.

Baby shark cartoon with kid singing doo doo doo doo doo doo
Together now! doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

Music cognition research suggests that earwigs may have something to do with how music affects the brain’s motor cortex, Margulis says. When people listen to music, “there’s a lot going on in the motor planning regions,” she says. “People often participate imaginatively even when they are sitting still.”

Science Friday

So I think my take on why the baby shark song is so popular seems to make scientific sense. We listen to the song, create catchy tunes, and then want to listen to it again because it’s catchy and easy to remember. Overwhelming, isn’t it?

Baby shark song cartoon with kid singing “Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo” on yellow background
Let’s sing the baby shark song again!

Listen to this song again now! In the meantime, if you’re craving more Baby Shark, check out:

Do you like the Baby Shark song? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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