Shark Attack Statistics
What are the statistics of actual shark attacks? How often does this happen and what are the odds of this happening? How do sharks know to attack?
Sharks are revered as some of the most vicious creatures in the sea. They're also known as some of the most devastating predators on the beach.
We've all heard stories about sharks coming to shore, and attacking–sometimes fatally–humans. It does happen. In fact, around the globe, there are 60 to 70 shark attacks annually. Of those, about a half dozen human prey are killed. That's according to the International Shark Attack File in Florida. Another interesting statistic to note is that normally about half of all shark attacks worldwide happen on the shores of the United States.
People each summer flock to the sandy beaches along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coast regions in hope of getting some sun and having some fun in the water. You have to be careful and on the look out. Not only should you beware of sharks, but there are several poisonous fish that often come near the shore, as well.
In all, your odds of being attacked by a shark are less than dying from a lightning strike or even than dying from a bee sting. But it can still happen. Three types of sharks in particular are known to visit the American shores: the great white, the tiger, and the bull sharks. Many experts say that most human shark attacks don't happen because the creatures want to eat humans, but because they mistake us for some of their favorite meals: seals. Humans and seals are about the same size. And when sharks get too close to the shore and see a human in the water, they may think he or she would make a fine treat.
If you are bitten by a shark, the chances of you getting fully eaten by a shark are even smaller. Sharks generally bite their prey in one huge chomp, then leave it alone a bit. Scientists believe this is so the shark can avoid a struggle with the animal and wait for it to die. Normally, once a shark realizes that they bit into a human, they aren't as interested in eating it and will leave it alone.