With more people venturing into deep waters as never before, 2015 marks a worldwide record of shark attacks, with a mind-blowing number of 98 cases around the globe.
As people have been trying to figure out the exact reason why we’ve experienced so many shark attacks lately, expert George Burgess from the International Shark Attack File brings light on this issue in an NPR interview conducted last year.
As it turns out, it is not an increasing number of sharks that causes this rise in attacks, but simply a higher rate of swimmers than in the previous years.
These attacks are most prevalent during summertime, when of course, the temperatures are warmer and much more people gather on the beach, which creates the perfect conditions for a surprise shark attack.
For anyone who might be experiencing a confrontation with these “sea dogs”, Burges says that playing dead is really not an option, since sharks have a strong respect for power and magnitude.
Thus, you should actually punch it on its nose and then it will most likely veer off. The swimmer should then use that moment to get out of the water as soon as possible. If that doesn’t work, the experts recommend clawing at its eyes or gill openings, as those are two sensitive parts for them.
Despite a certain concern that shark populations might be on the rise, experts suggest that is actually not the case. In fact, it has been reported that shark populations around the world are at an all-time low, while human populations continue to grow exponentially.
It has been reported that just on the North Carolina coast there have been 25 shark attacks from 2005 to 2014. Don’t let this figure scare you, though. According to the International Shark Attack File from the Florida Museum of Natural History, the chance of an ocean swimmer actually being bitten by one of these beasts is one in 11.5 million.
It is also worth mentioning the fact that most of these attacks have been provoked, either through spear fishing or people actively trying to catch them. On the other hand, there are the many unprovoked attacks, which are said to be attributed to the shark’s poor visibility, thus confusing humans for their usual prey.
While Australia experienced a dreadful year from this perspective, with two people dead and many other injured, it is still the United States who takes the lead in the number of shark attacks, with 59 total unprovoked occurrences in 2017.
Image Source: TheWire