So who’s afraid of sharks, and their huge appetite for snacking on us humans? As it turns out, we really don’t feature on their menu! Here we take a closer look at the facts, and explore some more everyday things that turn out to be more dangerous than sharks!
We’re Just Not on the Menu
Popular culture has it that sharks are just mindless people killers – get in the water with sharks, and they’ll make a beeline to you and start chomping down! Totally not true of course! Sharks have an excellent sense of smell, and can tell that humans are not fish, or other yummy shark food. Let’s take a look at the facts. According to the International Shark Attack File, sharks only accounted for 5 human deaths in 2019, which is in line with the annual global average of 4 fatalities per year. Hmm… maybe not such a fearsome people killer after all? To think this through, let’s take a look at some things that are more dangerous than sharks!
New Year’s Eve just wouldn’t be the same without fireworks! That pretty, sparkly light show in the sky – full of glittery colour, flashing trails and glowing luminescence, against a dark night sky. But, this breathtaking party piece is responsible for 11 deaths a year, and thousands of visits to the hospital with burn related injuries. They’re way more dangerous than sharks! But we still love fireworks! It’s interesting to think the average member of the public would happily allow kids to play with flammable fireworks for fun, but are totally freaked out at the thought of getting in the water with a shy little nurse shark.
Our old hardworking friend the horse – and the original source of old fashioned horsepower! The combustion engine has largely replaced the horse in many modern settings, and horse riding is now very much a leisure activity for equine lovers all around the world. Horses are still regarded positively and highly valued – but, they’re responsible for an average of 20 deaths a year! That’s many times more than sharks – but kids still get sent to pony club every year!
The fresh smell of newly cut grass, beautifully striped lawns, and the sound of the lawnmower at work – it must be summer! Lawnmowers are an essential piece of kit for the proud homeowner, and no one would think twice about using one to keep the grass trimmed. However, lawnmowers are responsible for an average of 70 deaths a year! Sounds like it would be much safer to spend summer in the water with some friendly sharks, and let local wildlife enjoy the long grass!
Four wheels, a wooden board coated in glittery black griptape, and hours of fun! Originating in California in the 1950s, skaters have gone global, with their jukebox culture, jumps, flips and tricks. A fun recreational activity, or a sustainable mode of transport – the sight of a skateboard wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in any modern city. However, skateboards are responsible for an average of 28 deaths a year – they’re much more dangerous than sharks! Sk8er boys are here to stay though – let’s make sure sharks are too!
I like to think of this as the revenge of seafood! But, it is no laughing matter though. Shellfish allergies cause approximately 30,000 emergency room visits and about 150 to 200 deaths each year in the U.S. alone. Off the bat, no one would think of yummy crustaceans such as lobsters, shrimps and clams as mindless people killers, but in fact, this title fits them a lot better than it does sharks! Maybe it’s time to rethink that seafood dinner, and the public’s irrational fear of sharks!