How To Not Get Attacked By A Shark – Some cities warn beachgoers about shark activity, so check municipal websites and local news before planning a trip. Rusty Watson/Unsplash
A wing cutting across the surface of the water, black eyes and white teeth glistening beneath, a slender, smooth body diving silently beneath the waves. It’s the stuff of seafarers’ nightmares.
How To Not Get Attacked By A Shark
Sometimes, the beach you want to swim at may be closed due to increased shark activity. But the truth is that encounters with these royal sea creatures are extremely rare – more so, in fact, than being struck by lightning or bitten by insects.
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But if you’re going to spend a lot of time in shark territory (ie, the ocean), it’s a good idea to do some research before strapping on your fins. That way, if you see a really big fish, you’ll know exactly what to do to minimize the damage.
First, shark encounters of any kind are rare, but mostly fatal. Only about five people are killed by sharks worldwide each year, so you only have a one in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark in your lifetime. This means that you are more likely to die from a fall or rip than from a shark bite.
“There’s a whole range of things that can kill you than a shark,” says marine biologist Kristine Stump, founder of Field Lab Consulting, which provides collaborative support services for marine research. “What I like is that I’m more likely to be bitten by a New Yorker than a shark.”
And Stump would know. Every day he researches, interacts with and teaches others about creatures. And he’s only been bitten once – a small sting when he caught a small lemon shark years ago.
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Even the risk of non-fatal bites is low: in 2020, there were 57 illegal shark bites worldwide. The United States had the most such encounters (33) with Florida, surprisingly given the ocean miles and busy migration routes. list of states with reported cases (16). Unsurprisingly, divers participated in the most international competitions (61 percent, or about 34 people), followed by swimmers (26 percent, or about 15 people), and finally divers and divers (4 percent only or two people) category).
Look at this big ‘chonky boi pic.twitter.com/rZVF7eS3Sw — B. Dave Walters: I talk words about things (@BDaveWalters) May 23, 2021
As for which species to watch out for the most, great white sharks, striped tiger sharks, and bull sharks have caused unprovoked attacks on humans.
When sharks end up biting someone, it’s not because the big, bad carnivores want to feast on your flesh. “This is who you are. “No shark species has humans in their diet at all,” Stump said.
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Quite simply, sharks mistake humans for other species, such as fish or seals. Many encounters involve bite-and-release situations, which occur because curious sharks often test the cut to see if the object is attractive. (Their teeth have a lot of nerve receptors.) If not, they spit them out and move on. They certainly don’t want to eat you, especially since most sharks aren’t much bigger than the average human. “Animals generally don’t attack their peers to defend themselves,” explains Stump.
In fact, sharks prefer to stay away. Many swimmers, surfers and surfers don’t even realize they’re in the area. Stump recalls aerial photos from last year of kayakers paddling in the ocean next to a handful of sharks; people came to the shore without realizing that they were far away from the animals.
This is because sharks are very sensitive. They have the same five senses as humans—up to two-thirds of their brain mass is devoted to smell—plus two: electroreception and pressure sensing. The first allows them to experience the contractions of their deer muscles and the earth’s geomagnetic fields to navigate. The second allows them to sense pressure waves in the water when potential food is nearby.
Actually, “they’ve known you’ve been around for a long time,” says Stump, and you may not be leaving. If you can spot a shark, consider yourself lucky.
How To Avoid And Survive Shark Attacks
Even though the chances of coming into contact with a shark at sea are incredibly low, there are ways to reduce your chances even further.
First, Stump recommends avoiding swimming or diving in areas where people fish. Anglers use bait and lures that attract large fish from the surrounding area. This in turn can bring in sharks looking to feed on those big fish. By the same token, the presence of diving birds such as shearwaters or pelicans can also indicate that sharks are nearby.
Always make friends while swimming in open water. Avoid swimming at night, morning and evening, when many species hunt, and avoid wearing jewelry while snorkeling, surfing, or other water sports, as the light quality can resemble the glitter of fish scales and other characteristics of sharks.
A common rumor is that period blood attracts sharks. No one has found any data to support this, so don’t feel like you have to get out of the water just because you’re wearing a tampon.
How To Survive A Shark Attack
In the very rare event that a shark gets close enough to bite you, there are a few expert-approved strategies to help you survive the ordeal.
If the shark swims too close for comfort, kick or punch it in the face with a stick, fin, or even your fist. Usually this is enough to make the shark run in the other direction. If you’re moving, get out of the water as quickly as possible – you’ll be less inclined to retreat during the second or third attack. Walk slowly and calmly to the nearest shore or boat and keep an eye on the animal if it is still hanging.
If the shark behaves violently when diving (rushing, arching its back, lowering its lateral fins, swimming in a zigzag or up-and-down motion), it retreats from a solid object, such as a stone or a rock. limit the number of angles the animal can reach. If this is not possible, swim slowly upstream with your dive partner close by until you reach the boat.
If a shark bites you—perhaps on its limb—and doesn’t stop quickly, punch and claw at sensitive areas like its eyes and ass. If you get any kind of cut, Stump says treat it like any other injury: get out of the water, focus on first aid, stop the bleeding and go to the hospital for serious treatment.
Shark Attacks: Why Do We Fear These Creatures So Much?
The point is, you can’t let your fear of sharks stop you from enjoying your beach vacation. Wash smart, recreate responsibly, and remember that you’re more likely to get hurt in a hotel toilet than a shark.
Alisha McDarris is a contributor to Popular Science. He is a true adventurer and outdoorsman who enjoys showing friends, family, heck, even strangers how to stay safe outdoors and spend more time in the wilderness. When he’s not writing, he can be found backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, or off-roading. Alison Kock works at Shark Spotters. It receives funding from the Save Our Seas Foundation, Two Oceans Aquarium and the University of Cape Town. He is affiliated with Shark Conservation South Africa, the University of Cape Town and the Aquatic Biodiversity Institute of South Africa.
There are more than 500 species of sharks, and only three of them pose a serious threat to humans. These are great white sharks, bull or Zambezi and tiger.
Statistically, the chances of being bitten by a shark are very low. In 2014, there were 72 shark bites in the world, three of which were fatal. Considering that hundreds of thousands of people use the beach for recreation every day, this is a surprisingly low number.
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There is a list of shark safety tips that will also reduce your risk. But have you ever wondered where advice comes from and how to use it?
Shark safety tips are designed to reduce the chances of human encounters with large, predatory sharks. There is always a chance of encountering sharks in places where they do, but certain places, times and conditions are more dangerous than others.
Sharks do not automatically swim around the ocean. They tend to follow specific migration routes, predictable food choices, and stay in specific areas temporarily, either to feed, breed or rest.
The predatory relationship between great white sharks and cape fur seals is a good example of how successful this can be. At Seal Island in False Bay off the coast of the Western Cape, more than 80% of the seals that are attacked are naive pups because they swim in areas and times where the risk of sharks is high. More experience
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