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Baby Shark facts for kids

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"Baby Shark" is a children's song associated with a dance involving hand movements that originated as a campfire song dating back to at least the 20th century. In 2016, "Baby Shark" became very popular when Pinkfong, a South Korean entertainment company, released a version of the song with a YouTube music video that went viral across social media, online video, and radio. In January 2022, it became the first YouTube video to reach 10 billion views. In November 2020, Pinkfong's version became the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, with over 13 billion views as of August 2023.

Origins and early history

Baby shark dance, Andersen
2018 photo of a four-year-old boy doing the "Baby Shark" dance

"Baby Shark" originated as a campfire song or chant. The original song dates back to at least the 20th century, potentially created by camp counselors inspired by the movie Jaws. In the chant, each member of a family of sharks is introduced, with campers using their hands to imitate the sharks' jaws.

Various entities have copyrighted original videos and sound recordings of the song, and some have trademarked merchandise based on their versions. However, according to The New York Times, the underlying song and characters are believed to be in the public domain.

A dance version of "Baby Shark" was popularized in the 2007 YouTube video "Kleiner Hai" (German for Little Shark) published by Alexandra Müller, also known by her stage name Alemuel. The video quickly gained popularity and led to EMI offering Alemuel a record deal. The single peaked at 25th in the German charts and at 21st in the Austrian charts. The German version of the song remains popular among German youth groups, and multiple variations, also in different dialects of German, have been published.

Johnny Only, a children's entertainer based in Upstate New York, was a DJ at a kids camp and the counselors would regularly perform the song with their campers. He saw how engaged and animated the campers were when "Baby Shark" was performed, so when he became a full-time children's entertainer, he released his own version in 2011.

Pinkfong version

"Baby Shark" was greatly popularized by a version of the song produced by Pinkfong, an education brand owned by South Korean entertainment company SmartStudy. The original music video for "Baby Shark" (Hangul: 상어 가족; RR: Sang-eo Gajok) without the child actors was uploaded on November 26, 2015. All videos related to Pinkfong's song had garnered around 5 billion views by January 2020. The most popular of these videos, "Baby Shark Dance", was uploaded on June 17, 2016, and went viral starting in 2017. On November 2, 2020, over four years after it was uploaded, it became the most-viewed YouTube video of all time after surpassing Luis Fonsi's "Despacito" with 7.04 billion views. On December 21, 2020, it became the first YouTube video to surpass 7.5 billion views, the approximate population of the world. It is the first most-viewed video to mention its status as such in the title.

This version of the song was performed by then-10-year-old Korean-American singer Hope Segoine. The music video featured two child actors, one of whom is child actress Elaine Johnston, a 9-year-old New Zealander of Korean-Scottish descent.

The song starts with bars from Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, which sounds similar to music from the film Jaws. "Baby Shark" features a family of sharks which hunt a school of fish which escape to safety. It became a viral video in Indonesia in 2017, and throughout the year it spread to many other Asian countries, particularly those in Southeast Asia. The related mobile app was among the top 10 most downloaded in the family apps category in South Korea, Bangladesh, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia in 2017.

A speaker during the 10th Bikol Wikipedia anniversary in 2017 doing the "Baby Shark" dance
Participants do the "Baby Shark" dance at the 10th Bikol Wikipedia Anniversary AdNU, Philippines, November 2017

"Baby Shark Dance" has received over 12 billion views worldwide (12.38 billion), over 38 million likes (39.43 million), and around 6.08M daily views and 182M monthly views making it the most-viewed video on YouTube. Due to a 2013 change that the Billboard Hot 100 music charts made to account for online viewership of YouTube videos, "Baby Shark" broke into the Billboard Hot 100 at number 32 during the week of January 7, 2019.

Due to its popularity, this version of the song has spurred an online dance craze which is sometimes referred to as the Baby Shark Challenge. It has been cited as "the next big thing after the domination of Gangnam Style". K-pop groups including Blackpink and Red Velvet have been credited with further spreading the viral song through their coverage of the song and dance, specifically on their featured TV shows and concerts. The song began to go viral in the Western world in August 2018.

In 2019, it was announced that Baby Shark would be adapted into Baby Shark's Big Show!, an animated television series aimed at preschoolers. SmartStudy (the company that owns the Pinkfong brand) partnered with US cable network Nickelodeon, which premiered the show in the United States in December 2020. In South Korea, the Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) airs the cartoon.

While the English version simply lists the members of the shark family, the Korean version says Mommy Shark is "pretty", Daddy Shark is "strong", Grandma Shark is "kind", and Grandpa Shark is "cool".

In July 2019, Kellogg's announced that it had entered a partnership with Pinkfong to introduce a new Baby Shark cereal, a berry-flavored variant of Froot Loops with marshmallows added. It was first available at Sam's Club stores on August 17, and at Walmart in late September.

In March 2020, Pinkfong released a new interactive version of the song that encourages children to properly wash their hands during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Weekly charts

Chart (2018–2022) Peak
Australia Streaming Audio Visual Tracks (ARIA) 40
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 39
France (SNEP) 162
Global 200 (Billboard) 38
Ireland (IRMA) 22
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ) 39
Scotland (OCC) 12
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan) 9
UK Singles (OCC) 6
US Billboard Hot 100 32
US Kid Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
US LyricFind Global (Billboard) 1
US Rolling Stone Top 100 58
Vietnam (Vietnam Hot 100) 10
Baby Shark duet
Chart (2019–2020) Peak
US Rolling Stone Top 100 73

Year-end charts

Chart (2019) Position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 85
UK Singles (OCC) 48
US Billboard Hot 100 75
Chart (2020) Position
UK Singles (OCC) 72
Chart (2021) Position
Global 200 (Billboard) 48
UK Singles (OCC) 73
Chart (2022) Position
Global 200 (Billboard) 52

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Baby Shark para niños

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