A fin pops up in the water – cue the ominous music and public panic! But are shark attacks really something of which we should be afraid? Here we take a closer look at the facts and explore some everyday things that turn out to be more dangerous than sharks!
No Need for Manic Panic
That sharkie silhouette in the water – triangular fin poking up as the curious shark noses its way over to you – are you getting chills of fear or exhilaration? Sadly for many, it’s the former. But why? Are sharks really just angsting for a bite of us humans?
(Answer – No)
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 voracious people killer after all? The following list of everyday things are, in fact, more dangerous than sharks!
So walking under ladders is meant to be bad luck, but actually using a ladder turns out to be fairly risky business! Falls from ladders cause an average of 300 deaths a year in the US alone, with most falls from 10 feet or less. In fact, falls from ladders are the leading cause of death on construction sites. Sounds like we all need to concentrate more on maintaining balance and wearing hard hats and a lot less time worrying about what those cruising sharks are up to!
Bees – where would we be without them? These little, hard-working insects are major pollinators for commercial fruit & vegetable crops, such as broccoli, squash, apples, and almonds, to name just a few. About one-third of all our food is pollinated by bees! Oh, and they also make yummy honey! Not all is sugary sweet though – bee stings kill an average of 60 people a year in the US alone – a lot more than sharks! But you don’t see anyone running in mad panic from a buzzing bumble bee!
The great American snack and mandatory food item at ball games! A delicious wiener, enveloped in a soft, squishy bun, with a choice of your favorite toppings and condiments – I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! But, there is a darker side to mouth-watering hot dogs, with an average of 13 fatalities a year from choking. So the lesson here is don’t be greedy, chew properly, and remember that yummy hotdogs are riskier than sharks!
Staying fit is important for health, and weight training is a great, low-impact way to develop muscle strength and endurance. You wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a set of dumbbell racks at the gym – but what if I told you that weight lifting is more dangerous than sharks? That’s right! Weight training causes an average of 10 deaths a year in the US alone. At least 75% of deaths were associated with free weights and at least 50% with the bench press. Dumbbells are more dangerous than sharks!
Here’s a real mass people killer… In 2014 the World Health Organization said climate change will bring malaria, diarrhea, heat stress, and malnutrition, killing 250,000more people annually. Further studies since have upped this number – it’s incredible to think that a quarter of million more deaths a year is a conservative estimate. But, the average human is probably way more terrified of sharks than of their carbon footprint. We need to spend a lot more of our attention and resources tackling climate change and a lot less on “shark attack prevention”.