You Are At: AllSands Home > Science > Don't be a shark attack victim!
A lot of people have the somewhat mistaken belief that sharks attack at random and that sharks prey upon people. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality shark attacks are relatively rare its just that when they do occur they are usually well publicized. In any given year throughout the entire world there are an average of only 10 to 20 shark attacks each year with only about half being fatal. Now if you consider how many people around the globe are in the water at any given time, the odds of being bitten by a shark become about as high as being struck by lightning.

Sharks don't normally attack people, its just not something that they are accustomed to doing. There has been documented evidence that sharks attack people because they think the people are seals or small animals in the water. It can also be noted that the majority of shark attacks around the world happen to surfers. This can be explained by two reasons: the first is that they spend a great deal more time in the water thus increasing their chances of getting noticed by a shark. Second, when a surfer is paddling out to sea, he/she usually has a wet suit on, which in many cases is dark. To the shark below the image of a surfer paddling on top of a board looks a lot like a seal swimming on top of the water.

Another reason why sharks are prone to attacking boats is because they are attracted to magnetic fields, which in many cases lead sharks into attacking hulls of ships in the mistaken belief that it is its prey.

To prevent a shark attack here are a few simple precautions that you can take. The first is if you see a shark from the distance and then see it disappear, it probably has already smelled you and knows where you are. When sharks attack people or seals, they rarely attack on top of the water, usually they swim down and under their unsuspecting prey and then firmly seize it. In this case make as much noise as possible by splashing. If you are bleeding, DO NOT make any noise, instead rip off some cloth from whatever you are wearing and try to stop the bleeding. If you do plan on going in the water for extended periods of time be sure to buy Shark Repellant, as it stops many sharks in their tracks.

Most of the time when sharks do attack people such as surfers and swimmers they simply bite once and let go. Sharks like to let their victims bleed to death. The easiest way to avoid sharks is to know where they frequent. Know ahead of time which areas are prone to shark attacks and keep that in mind when you are in the water. Never go in the water alone, always go in with someone else or a group of people. The last thing to keep in mind is that out of the few hundred species of sharks, only a handful are meat eaters, the vast majority such as the basking shark or whale shark only eat vegetation. For the most part the image of sharks cold blooded killers is baseless and over hyped by the media.