Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breaking News! Most Sharks Not Aggressive!

"Don't the sharks bite?"

When I'm at work I get asked this question a lot. My response is always the same:


Today I was asked something new:

"Why not?"

The answer to that question is very simple, and I informed her that most shark species are not aggressive

Of the 375+ species of shark that have been identified, only about a dozen of them are considered dangerous to humans. That's only 3% of all known shark species.

Most people don't know this!

Sharks are misunderstood and demonized unjustly. They're just big fish (although sometimes small) who happen to have very sharp teeth. So you don't want to attempt to hand feed a shark, but otherwise you have little to fear. If they don't like you, they'll probably just swim away. And if your aim is to befriend a shark, your feelings may get hurt, but that's probably it.

The three sharks most related to accident statistics, and the ones you won't want to encounter in the wild, are the Great White, the Tiger Shark, and the Bull Shark. Although if you are diving in open seawater, your guide should tell you about the species to watch out for.

At the exhibit we have Nurse Sharks and Bamboo Sharks. They're really not scary. This is what a nurse shark's teeth look like:

Not scary.

If you don't believe me, you might believe BuzzFeed. About a year ago they compiled a list of 20 Things That Kill More People Than Sharks Every Year. Vending machines, deer, and shopping on Black Friday are all more lethal to humans than sharks are.

Check out the full list here.

So let's all stop hating and practice appreciating.


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