Rare, and almost never deadly, shark reputations are perhaps more fearsome than their bite. The chance that you’ll have a close encounter with a shark in real-life is about 1 in 11.5 million. In fact, you’re more likely to get hurt in a boating accident or a car crash than be attacked by a shark.
Do you want some more good news? Many shark attacks occur out of simple confusion. The hungry shark is after anything that looks remotely like a fish, so sometimes it may accidentally bite a human. In most cases, these encounters involve a single bite, after which the shark flees. Here’s 38 interesting facts about shark attacks to calm your nerves…
In the last decade around 72% of shark attack casualties were people involved in activities such as surfing, water skiing, and other water sports.
Snorkelers are the safest people in the water.
Great white, Bull and Tigers are the biggest and most dangerous species of shark known to attack humans.
There is evidence from survivors of shark attacks that suggest that the shark may simply have been examining what they thought to be foreign objects in the water.
Most attacks on humans have not been even close to the spectacular hunting techniques which the white sharks use when they’re in the mood for seal.
Shark attacks on humans are far less explosive. For example, one surfer didn’t even notice a shark until it was nibbling on his surfboard.
From nearly 500 shark species, only around 30 have ever attacked a human.
Men, watch out! From 1580 to 2010, 93% of all shark attacks were on boys or men.
Florida is the U.S. state with the most shark attacks.
103 attacks occurred in September, compared to 61 in June, 73 in July, and 84 in August, from 1926 to 2019.
Sharks eat breakfast and dinner, so they feed around dawn and dusk.
Reduce your chances of a shark encounter by leaving your jewellery on the beach. The shining jewellery can falsely attract and confuse sharks.
The world’s shark population is decreasing drastically due to over fishing.
The number of shark attacks every year is driven by the number of people in the water, not the number of sharks.
Scientists chip a small population of sharks to gather information on their migratory patterns, size, and growth.
Tracking sharks online has also become a hobby for some beachgoers, who can follow Tiger sharks in and around Hawaii and several shark species in Western Australia and much of the northern hemisphere.
One popular Great White shark named Mary Lee has more than 128,000 followers on Twitter.
In the Outer Banks of North Carolina, scientists have registered high numbers of herring and sea turtles which can explain the unusually high number of shark attacks in that area in recent years.
Even though Bull sharks can survive in rivers, lakes and even streams (in addition to the ocean), very few freshwater human-shark encounters have ever been registered.
Each year there are 5 to 15 shark-attack fatalities around the world from about 50 to 70 confirmed shark attacks.
The numbers of shark attacks have risen over the past few decades but not because sharks are more aggressive, but because humans have basically taken over coastal waters in increasing numbers.
Sharks have the reputation of being eating machines, but considering that many species are cold-blooded, some sharks eat only about 2% of their body weight each day. That’s a quite a lot less than humans usually eat.
According to ISAF, New Smyrna Beach in Florida is the shark attack capital of the world.
Anyone who has swum in New Smyrna Beach in Florida has been within 10 feet of a shark.
Since 1907, in situations where humans were less than six feet from the surface, 201 out of 220 great white attacks have occurred.
You have a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark and a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu during your lifetime.
On average there are just 19 shark attacks each year and one shark-attack fatality every two years in the U.S.
In the meantime, lightning strikes will kill more than 37 people each year in the coastal U.S. states alone.
Humans kill approximately 2,000,000 sharks, for every human killed by a shark.
Less than 100 feet from the shore is where most shark attacks occur, usually around popular beaches in North America, Australia, and South Africa.
In 2008, in a Greenland shark’s stomach, a polar bear’s jaw was discovered.
In 2019, there were only 5 fatal shark attacks.
Sharks don’t necessarily have territories but there is a visible dominance hierarchy among sharks.
The largest sharks always get the best hunting spots. Intrusions by smaller sharks are not tolerated. Therefore, some shark attacks may be a result of the shark’s instinct to protect its food source against all comers.
Shark mouths are finely tuned sensory organs, leading sharks to “mouth” unfamiliar objects as a means of inspecting them and defining their possible food value.
Whatever the final cause of a shark attack, we are a far greater threat to sharks than they are to us.
Humans have reduced the shark population, with some 100 million taken each year both on purpose or unintentionally.
Do you have any interesting facts about shark attacks that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!