Less than six people are killed by sharks every year

By now, with all the news surrounding the killing of sharks by humans, it is perhaps common knowledge that sharks are not as deadly as they are made out to be. In fact, sharks do not even feature in the top ten in the list of most deadly animals by human deaths each year. Several seemingly less harmful animals like cows, ants and horses are above sharks in the list.

According to most statistics, around six people are killed due to shark attacks each year. To put that in perspective, 655,000 people are killed each year by mosquitoes, 2,900 by hippopotamuses, 150 by deer, 50 by bees and 30 by dogs. Some statistics even claim that vending machines kill 13 people a year.

Another factor to consider is that in many cases of sharks attacking humans, there is clear evidence that the shark was provoked or threatened. Also, in the defence of sharks, humans lying on surfboards look a lot like seals, which are a staple of many shark species.

Photograph of Surfer

See what I mean? So out of the six cases of shark attacks each year, perhaps none can truly be blamed directly on the shark. Of course, provocation is a major cause for almost all deaths due to animal attacks, but the percentage of non-provoked attacks in the case of sharks is probably lower than in the case of other animals.

So, to conclude, sharks are not as dangerous as they seem. Wait, let me rephrase that. Sharks are extremely dangerous (if you engage in a 1-on-1 battle), but the chance that you will be killed by one is extremely low. There. That’s better. Hopefully this article will help you remove the paranoia you harbour when you go swimming at the beach.


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