35 Jaw Dropping Shark Attack Statistics & Facts (2023)

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Shark Attack

Shark attacks on humans are rare, with only a few dozen reported each year in the whole world.

On this page, you’ll find shark attack statistics and facts, to help how misunderstood these creatures are.

Let’s see the stats.

Key Shark Attack Statistics

  1. On average only 70 shark attack incidents happen annually.
  2. In 2022 worldwide there was a total of 57 confirmed unprovoked cases.
  3. In 2022 the number of attacks has been lower than the most recent five-year (2017-2021).
  4. In the United States, the state with the most shark attacks is Florida.
  5. There are over 400 species of sharks, but only about a dozen are known to attack humans.
  6. More people are killed by bees, dogs, and lightning than sharks.
  7. The United States recorded the most unprovoked shark bites in 2022, with 41 cases.
  8. Shark attacks are more common in males than females.
  9. Swimmers and people wading were the majority of incidents at 43%, not surfers.
  10. The chances of being killed by a shark are about 1 in 11.5 million. Great white shark swimming in a school of fish
  11. The great white shark, tiger shark, and bull shark are responsible for most attacks on humans.
  12. Sharks can detect blood in the water from miles away, but cares more about fish blood.
  13. Most shark attacks occur in mid to deep water.
  14. Most shark attacks occur in warm water due to more people in the water not the actual temperature.
  15. The odds of being attacked by a shark increase when swimming near fishing boats.
  16. Most shark attacks occur on the legs and feet.
  17. The International Shark Attack File is a database of all reported shark attacks around the world.
  18. In some parts of the world, people intentionally seek out shark encounters through activities like cage diving or swimming with whale sharks.
  19. If you do encounter a shark, experts recommend remaining calm and slowly backing away, rather than panicking or thrashing around in the water.
Great White shark with divers in a cage

Fascinating Shark Facts

  1. On average only 70 shark attack incidents happen annually.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, sharks do not mistake humans for seals. They attack humans because they are curious or feel threatened.
  3. Sharks are often portrayed as “mindless killing machines” in the media, but in reality, they are intelligent and curious creatures.
  4. Sharks play an important role in marine ecosystems by keeping populations of other marine animals in balance.
  5. Sharks have been around for over 400 million years.
  6. The smallest species of shark is the dwarf lantern shark, which is only about 8 inches long.
  7. The largest species of shark is the whale shark, which can grow up to 40 feet long. Whale Shark with Diver
  8. Contrary to popular belief, sharks are not immune to all diseases. They can be affected by a variety of illnesses, including cancer.
  9. Sharks are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain and have few natural enemies.
  10. Many shark species have a specialized organ called the ampullae of Lorenzini, which allows them to detect electrical impulses in the water. This helps them locate prey and navigate through their environment.
  11. The movie “Jaws” is often credited with sparking widespread fear and panic about sharks, leading to a decrease in their populations due to overfishing and hunting.
  12. Many shark species are threatened or endangered due to overfishing and habitat loss.
  13. The largest concentration of great white sharks in the world is in the waters around South Africa.
  14. The relationship between humans and sharks is complex and multifaceted, with many people fearing and demonizing these creatures while others work to protect and conserve them.
  15. Some shark species, like the lemon shark and bull shark, are able to tolerate and even thrive in freshwater environments.

Precautions from Shark Attacks

Here are several precautions you can take to minimize the risk of a shark attack and still enjoy ocean activities like scuba, freediving or snorkeling. 

  • Swim in designated areas- This is pretty self explanatory but  avoid areas where sharks are known to frequent. These areas include areas near schools of fish, near the shore where there are large rocks or reefs, or in murky water.

  • Avoid swimming alone- Not always possible but let someone know if you can’t. Swim with a buddy/ group particularly in remote areas.

  • Stay close to shore- Sharks tend to be more active in deeper water, so by staying close to shore you can reduce the risk of a shark encounter.

  • Avoid wearing shiny things- The reflection of jewelry in the water can attract sharks, so it is best to avoid wearing it while swimming or diving.

  • Avoid dawn or dusk- Sharks are most active during these times.

  • Follow local safety guidelines- Check websites and look for any posted warning signs or instructions from lifeguards or local officials. 

Remember that while shark attacks are rare, it is important to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings when swimming or diving in the ocean.

By taking these precautions and following local safety guidelines, you can reduce the risk of a shark encounter and enjoy ocean activities safely.

What to Do in the Case of a Shark Attack

Sadly these things do happen and f you are ever in the unfortunate situation of being attacked by a shark, it is important to know what to do.

Here are some steps and things to take into consideration if this does happen:

  • Defend yourself- If the shark is biting you, fight back. Punch kick use a camera, or a nearby object. Aim for the eyes and gills, these are the sensitive areas that may cause the shark to release its grip.

  • Get out of the water- Get out of the water as quickly as possible.

  • Apply pressure to the wound- If you have been bitten, apply pressure to the wound and seek medical attention. 

  • Call for help- Logical but often forgotten when in shock. If you are with others, call for help, and alert any nearby authorities.

  • Stay calm- It is easier said than done but try to remain as calm as possible. Sudden movements and panic can make it worse. 

It is important to note that the chances of surviving a shark attack are greatly increased if you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even small wounds can become infected. Get to a doctor or local hospital. 

Remember shark attacks are rare, and most species of sharks are not a threat to humans. Whale sharks for instance are harmless or hammerheads can bite but rarely ever do. By taking precautions to minimize the risk of a shark encounter and knowing what to do in the event of an attack.

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