How Rare are Shark Attacks (2000-2014)?

Nature & Environment | World | January 24, 2016
Excel Sheet

Who is the biggest killer in the animal kingdom? The shark? The wolf? Or the lion? Rubbish! It’s us, us humans, who kill some 475,000 people annually. Actually, it’s only us if you disregard the tiny mosquito, which is the real serial killer, causing the death of more than 725,000 people a year, according to the Bill Gates Foundation.

With just ten killings a year, sharks could be seen as lovely pets when compared to dogs (causing 25,000 deaths), or crocodiles (1,000 reported cases).

There was a terrible exception once though. The worst shark attack in history happened to the crew of the U.S. ship ‘Indianapolis’ in 1945. The ship sank in twelve minutes and after four days spent in the water only 317 of the ship’s original 1,196-man crew remained. Estimates of the number who died from shark attacks range from a few dozen to almost 150.

In 2014, there were 72 confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attacks on humans worldwide, according to the International Shark Attack File. Significantly, worldwide only three fatalities resulted from unprovoked attacks in 2014, two in Australia (both in New South Wales) and one in South Africa (Eastern Cape). 

So, statistics tell us watch your neighbour rather than a fin above the water next time you’re swimming in the sea.