Apr 19, 2022 4:39:46 PM | 3 Min Read

The Shark Misinterpretation

Posted By
Sierra Stirnkorb
The Shark Misinterpretation

Shark Statistics- The facts 

 If you are afraid of sharks do not worry, you are not alone. Many people let this "man-eater" fear keep them from diving, but I hope that once you have read my shark blog series, your galeophobia- the fear of sharks-will lighten. 

The media has portrayed sharks as villains that eat everything in their path. Most people do not know that many other objects and animals have a higher chance of killing you than sharks. Alternately they are cartilage-filled animals with 7 curious senses. 

John Beattie claims your chances of being attacked by a shark in the United States is one in five million. While your risk of death from heart disease is one in five. According to the International shark file, 1,970 people die on average from lightning strikes in the United States while 26 people die from shark attacks. From 1985-to 2010, one hundred twenty-five people died from a tornado in Florida while 6 people died from a shark attack in Florida. 379 people died from rip currents from 2004-to 2013 while 8 people died from a shark attack. These examples show how much more likely you could die from natural weather-related incidents than by a shark. On the other hand, we own dogs that have killed three hundred and forty-nine people between the years 2009-and 2018. Other less feared animals like bears and alligators kill more people as well. 173 people died from bear attacks between 1900-and 2009 compared to a total of thirty-seven shark attack fatalities. In six different alligator-filled states of the United States, 18 people died from alligator attacks while 9 people have died from a shark. 

 In 2021, there were 137 shark bites globally. While humanity kills one hundred million sharks every year. Of those 137 bites, 73 were found unprovoked while 39 bites were provoked reactions. Five bites were on boats and another 5 were claimed “doubtful” assuming these interactions were not with a shark. The last fifteen bites are still under investigation to find the true culprit according to the international shark file. Three species out of 500 are to blame for over ten fatal attacks. Those being the great white, bull, and tiger sharks. Great whites double the body count of tiger sharks, and this reveals why great whites are the most feared species and are negatively characterized by the media. 

Out of five hundred species of shark one hundred 143 species are under threat, listed by IUCN as vulnerable to critically endangered. Most sharks are harmless creatures that people unknowingly interact with every day.