The truth about shark attacks
Are you afraid of sharks? Well, you shouldn't - here, you'll find out why.
The mere thought of a shark for most people triggers a feeling of pure panic. Facts and figures however show that these fears are for the most part completely unfounded.
The likelihood of falling victim to a shark attack is close to negligible. Countless other deadly hazards lurk around every corner; and their odds by far surpass the one of a shark attack.
Life is dangerous
Every year, more people die from the consequences of obesity than by a shark attack. Just by eating hot dogs, each year up to 70 children die. Therefore, it is far less dangerous to swim in the open sea to get rid of a few bothersome pounds, as not to do so!
A classic, but nonetheless an irrefutable truth: You will more likely be hit by lightning than bit by a shark - the ratio is 5:10000. Nevertheless, a thunderstorm will not immediately make us fear for our lives – but if anyone warbles the melody of the movie "Jaws", many people will instantly get quite queasy. (Please do not try this on a boat full of fresh divers!)
Hippos kill nearly 3,000 people every year - only five people die due to a shark attack, yearly and worldwide. You rarely meet hippos in your neighbourhood and therefore feel safe? Wrong! Deer from local forests are annually responsible for the deaths of over 100 people. In the list of animals which are most dangerous to humans, jelly fish, dogs and ants are way ahead of sharks.
Even shopping is more dangerous than a shark. Especially when it comes to closing sales, department stores are dangerous places to hang around - every year seasonal sales claim up to 500 lives. Bargain hunters lead a much more dangerous life than any diver or snorkeler.
Even in your own bathtub you are not safe: every year, there are 68 times more people passing away in a bathtub than by a shark attack. And even icicles, footballs and yet vending machines (!) are more dangerous than sharks. Every year, many hundreds of people depart this life due to accidents in normal everyday life.
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Join the adventure
Life is full of surprises! So you can either crawl under your covers at home - and hope that at least there nothing will happen to you - or venture cheerfully and confidently out into the big wide world and enjoy the adventure.
(By the way: In the U.S. alone, 450 people die each year because they fall out of bed.)
Of course, I am not trying to encourage you to joyfully hug every (rare) shark you might encounter under water. We should never come to close to animals in the wild, because if they feel threatened, they will attack.
Sharks are beautiful animals, which as a result of the film industry, unfortunately, have a pretty serious image problem. Today, they are often hated and hunted, and they are threatened with extinction. Therefore, even when diving in the open ocean, shark encounters have become more or less a rarity.
For more information, please visit the website of Shark Project, an international organization for research and protection of sharks. Shark Project organizes educational programs and conferences worldwide, for a better understanding of sharks.
About the authors
The Hagenz are Angelica and Daniel Hagen.
Angelica is a certified translator for Italian, German and English with more than 16 years of professional experience.
Daniel is a trained chef and hotel manager; 15 years he toured the world as a branch manager and diving instructor.