It’s no secret that sharks get a bad rap. Between infamous movies like Jaws and the shark attack stories on Discovery during Shark Week, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. But here’s the honest-to-God truth: sharks aren’t nearly as scary as coconuts. Want proof? Then read on!
1. You’re more likely to win the lottery than be killed by a shark.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is about 1 in 135 million while the odds of being killed by a shark are 1 in 264 million. And since we all know that playing the lottery is a statistical wash, consider donating those funds to an ocean conservation organization (like Rock the Ocean) instead.
2. From 1837-2013, there were only 44 unprovoked fatal shark attacks in the USA.
That includes Hawaii! In fact, there have only been 129 attacks in Hawaii in general, 9 of which were fatal, since 1828. On average, the entire United States sees fewer than seven unprovoked shark attacks annually.
3. On average, there are only 3.6 shark attacks on divers per year.
Between 1990 and 2009, there were only 72 attacks on divers. Of those attacks, approximately 20% were fatal, averaging less than one fatal attack per year. Sharks you’ll encounter on your dives are more likely to view you with curiosity than think of you as potential food. So there’s no reason to keep putting off that shark dive you’ve been thinking about!
4. Of the over 480 shark species, only 13 have ever attacked people.
And only four have attacked 10 or more people: the great white, tiger, bull, and likely the oceanic whitetip. While you should exercise more caution around those species, they’re still unlikely to ever harm you.
5. Falling coconuts kill over 10x more people each year than sharks do.
Sounds pretty silly to be afraid of coconuts, doesn’t it? But the numbers are there. Coconuts kill 150 people every year, and sharks typically kill fewer than 12. We’re not saying coconuts are mindless people killers, but compared to sharks, they totally are.
So, Spielberg, when’s Attack of the Killer Coconuts coming out?