Home > Modern Myths > Modern Myths: Sharks are dangerous

Modern Myths: Sharks are dangerous

Except, like most wild animals, they don’t prey on humans (we not being marine creatures) and only attack us very rarely. The web site Shark Info says:

Sharks are basically not dangerous. Only circumstances may lead to situations which are potentially dangerous for humans. Now many people may feel this is splitting hairs. But there is a big difference between animals which are considered dangerous and certain situations which may be potentially threatening.

Many situations pose no threat whatsoever to humans, even though a large shark may be swimming around. The dangerous shark is just as rare as the nonaggressive shark.

Even the infamous great white shark may just be misunderstood:

Great whites, as well as other species of sharks, have no way of precisely analyzing an unknown potential prey. In rare cases, they will test the object with their jaws, inspecting it with their taste buds. Their curiosity must, however, not be equated with actually biting. The “unprovoked attacks” cited in over 98% of the accident reports are thus not only wrong, but also represent an erroneous description of a biological function.

Read more at Shark Info.

‘Worldwide there is an average of 50-70 shark attacks every year’ according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Ichthyology web pages, of which a bare handful are fatal. Yet Wikipedia says that ‘it was estimated in 2004 that 1.2 million people were killed (2.2% of all deaths) and 50 million more were injured in motor vehicle collisions.’ Clearly the number of people who encounter cars is far greater than the number who encounter sharks, but it’s equally clear what one should be more apprehensive of.

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