Five Deadliest Sharks In The World
It’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel! It’s the time of year that we can learn more about some of the scariest creatures in the ocean. Sharks are terrifying predators that are often portrayed as the villains in movies. They eat just about everything, and while they are considered extremely dangerous to people, this is sort of a myth. When a shark attacks a person, the results can be gruesome. However, there are only about 6 fatal attacks per year. Compare this to the 100 or so people who die from bee and wasp stings every year. Nonetheless, sharks are scary! Here is a top five list of the most deadly…
THE BULL SHARK
This shark is known to swim in shallow waters in warm climates. What makes them dangerous is that they don’t stick to the ocean! They have been known to swim into fresh water rivers. Think you’re safe? Bull sharks have been found far north in the Ohio River and along the Mississippi River – in Illinois!!! The Bull Shark is an extremely unpredictable and aggressive animal. It is responsible for the most near-shore attacks on humans. They can be found almost everywhere in the ocean and near land. One was even spotted swimming in the flooded streets of Queensland, Australia following a flood in January, 2011. They grow up to be about 11 feet in length and weigh about 700 pounds when fully grown.
GREAT WHITE SHARK
Possibly the best known of the deadly sharks, the Great White is the type of shark that the movie Jaws was based upon. There is a good reason for this, too. The Great White shark has probably killed more people than any other shark. However, the Great White doesn’t prefer humans in its diet though. It only attacks those that intrude upon its territory or are mistaking people for other prey. This shark is huge. The Great White can grow to twenty feet long and weigh over 5000 pounds. The shark is found almost anywhere in the world. The majority of them are found off the coast of South Africa. They migrate long distances (no one knows why) and they have been seen as deep as 4000 feet.
These sharks are also known as Sea Tigers and get their name from the dark stripes that appear on their skin. They are very large sharks, growing to about 16 feet in length and weighing up to about 1500 pounds. One was found in 1957 to be 25 feet long and weighing 6,900 pounds! Females are usually larger than the males. The Tiger Shark swims in deep water (1000+ feet) and is found mostly in the Pacific Ocean. However, they have been seen in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coastal waters of the U.S. and South America. They are considered man-eaters, but rarely kill humans. The attacks on people are typically non-lethal because humans are not their main diet. In the U.S., 3-4 people are attacked by Tiger Sharks each year.
OCEAN WHITE TIP
This shark is known for its rounded and white tipped fins. It is found mainly in tropical and warm water climates. They are smaller than most of the sharks on this list, growing to about ten feet in length and not weighing more than a slim 160 pounds. The reason these sharks are considered deadly is that they are the ones that usually participate in feeding frenzies. They are a danger to shipwreck or air crash survivors. The species is in danger of extinction since it is the main ingredient in the popular shark fin soup.
The Mako Shark is known in the Pacific in the area of Tahiti although they can be found anywhere in the world. This is the shark found in Hemmingway’s The Old Man of the Sea. They are often found in shallow waters, which make them dangerous to people. The sharks grow to about 10 feet and 850 pounds. What makes these sharks deadly is that they are extremely fast, reaching speeds up to 60+ miles per hour! They typically swim below their prey, then leap upwards, tearing into their victims from below. They have been known to jump into boats or go through small vessels (like kayaks). They usually stay away from humans, but will attack if they are disturbed. According to sources, between 1980 and 2010, there were only 13 attacks on people by Makos. Only one of these was fatal.