In 1975, Jaws terrified audiences worldwide and introduced the infamous two-key, nightmare-inducing theme song that would become an indelible part of modern culture. Dun dun…dun dun…dun dun dun dunnnnnnnn! Sharks were catapulted to the ignominious position of public enemy number one and people were never able to look at murky water the same again. Although the puppet shark used in the movies is laughable in retrospect, the fear it incited still permeates modern characterizations of sharks. But how common are shark attacks really?
In reality, you are more likely to get crushed by a cow collapsing in a field than you are to die from a shark attack. There is roughly a one in 3,748,067 chance you will be attacked and killed by a shark. That number can be hard to conceptualize, so to bring it to the real-world here are a few things more likely to befall you than death by a shark:
- Get struck by lightning
- Win an Academy Award
- Win the Nobel Prize
- Get killed by fireworks
- Get killed by a rogue champagne cork
Furthermore, when it comes to the animals that are most deadly to humans, sharks don’t even crack the top 10. Mosquitoes take the top spot, with snakes, dogs, freshwater snails, hippopotami, and others all causing vastly more deaths annually than shark attacks.
Now, this isn’t to say that it’s a good idea to go poke around in shark-infested waters. Shark attacks do happen, but there are easy steps you can take to minimize your risk. Check out our blog post on avoiding shark attacks for some great tips.