21 Things More Deadly Than Sharks: SharkWeek 2014 #KingofSummer

Sharkweek is looming! It’s a bad week to be a seal. August 10th begins shark week!!! My love of sharks has compelled me to share more great information on these amazing apex predators.
sharkweek 2014
#kingofsummer #sharkweek

This may sound like a conspiracy theory – but the world has been conditioned to hate sharks.  It may be their honed predatory sense, razor sharp teeth, ability to survive and adapt ove thousands of years, or the fact that they kill and eat thousands of fish per year (a shark’s gotta eat!).  More likely, however, is that  John Williams’s epic soundtrack, and the movie Jaw’s has scared the living hell out of several generations of humans about to enter the water.

shark week sharks

PLEASE Play this JAWS intro theme for full effect of this post – ANY of these activities look MUCH scarier synced to this music!

Numbers of annual fatalities include:

1. Cars – 4,300

2. Airplanes – 1200

3. Lightning – 50 (US) 24,000 Worldwide

4. Drowning – 4,500

5. Texting – 6,000

6. Falling – 15,000

7. Diving – 6,700

8. Alcohol – 50,000

9. Electrocution – 400

10. Fires – 3,700

11. Tornadoes – 50-100

12. Horses – 20

13. Deer – 200

14. Moose – 5

15.  Snakes – 50,00

16. Obesity – 30,000

17. Mosquitos – 750,000

18. Heart disease – 10,000,000 (worldwide)

19. Falling Coconuts – 150

20. Vending Machines – 13

21. Roller coasters – 4

Sharks – 4-5 people (and a whole lot of fish and seals)

Sharks can seem downright terrifying when you see them blasting prey while breaching two stories out of the water Air Jaws style, or watching their razor sharp teeth sheering through the flesh of a fish chased down in an unlucky baitfall.

While sharks can be scary – statistically, they should be about as scary as a vending machine or a squirrel.  Squirrels bite many more people and vending machines kill more people per year than sharks do.  Certainly mosquitos should be higher on our list of fears if logic were our guide.

Sharks are amazing creatures with two major instincts – breeding and feeding.  Their actions are dictated primarily by these instincts and explain the majority of their behavior. If a shark thinks you’re prey – you’re in trouble.  It’s why you shouldn’t wear a wet suit and look like a big fish in September (month of most bites) while you’re surfing or swimming in New Smyrna Beach, FL  – the shark bite capital of the world.

The one detail overlooked in the epic Jaws movie, however, is that sharks crave fish – not people.  Even in areas where bullsharks roam polluted rivers with people bathing on the banks – they still eat fish – not flesh.    A bullshark will follow a fishing boat for fish remains long before they’ll bite a human on the bank. People don’t smell like fish (except the reeeeally raunchy ones).  If you’ve taken a shower in the past week, a shark is probably about as likely to eat you as a vegan eating some veal.

The number one reason a shark won’t eat you…
You’re not a seal or a fish!

Odds of being killed by a shark – 1 in 264,000,000

Sharks killed per year – 25,000,000 – 50,000,000

Over 375 shark species have been identified, but only about a dozen are considered particularly dangerous. Three species are responsible for most human attacks: great white (Carcharodon carcharias), tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), and bull (Carcharhinus leucas) sharks. While sharks kill fewer than 10 people a year, their own numbers suffer greatly at human hands.

Between 20 and 100 million sharks die each year due to over fishing activity, according to data from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File. The organization estimates that some shark populations have plummeted 30 to 50 percent.

The fear of the unknown is to blame for the fear of sharks. There’s a lot of deep blue sea water containing nearly nothing but salt.  A big blue barren desert.  It’s scary to think of the ocean being loaded with burly blood lusting bull sharks, terrifying terrible tiger sharks, and  famished white sharks just waiting to break the surface and feed on us like we were thanksgiving dinner. The reality is that the majority of the sea is just miles and miles of open water, and that sharks eat mainly fish.

People fear the unknown of the big blue abyss and this imaginative fear conjured up by our minds has caused mass Selachophobia – or fear of sharks

While our minds paint the picture of merciless killers with a unquenchable thirst for humans, it is actually a rare and amazing experience to encounter these creatures in the wild. While the JAWS movie (and the soundtrack) were entertaining and terrifying – the majority of sharks are not too scary despite their large teeth and evolved fish killing skills.  They’re people killing skills actually aren’t that great.  Sharks are more scared of you, than you are of them – and as the statistics prove – for good reason.

The next time you jump in the ocean – just remind yourself of the statistics, and try to put the music out of your head.  Perhaps consider that you’re about as likely to get hit by a sharknado as you are getting killed by a shark bite. If you want to see a shark in the wild, try Field School shark research.

Don’t fall victim to John Williams making you hate sharks!  Consider yourself lucky if you get to see or catch one of these magnificent creatures, and enjoy learning more about them and watching them during shark week 2014!

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