The exaggerated reputation for violent predators we attribute to sharks immediately makes us think that everyone is dangerous and eats people. However, the diversity of marine species and habitats in which they live allowed them to evolve into eating habits in which fish, molluscs, crustaceans and some marine mammals are their main food.
The various studies carried out in different countries with the aim of better understanding the relationship between sharks and people concluded that sharks are not dangerous for them, as they are not part of their diet. The probability of dying from a shark attack somewhere in the world is very low: just 1 in 3.7 million.
If you want to find out more and find out if sharks eat people, in this complete Better-Pets.net article you will find all the information you need to answer your questions.
Are sharks dangerous?
Currently, there are around 350 different species of shark distributed throughout the oceans, each with feeding habits and attack techniques adapted to the prey and the habitat in which they live. Therefore, considering that all sharks are dangerous would be a big mistake, as the conditions that must exist for a shark to attack dangerously are very varied and will depend, above all, on the animal feels threatened or looking for another prey. if the usual ones are scarce.
Thus, we must consider that the danger of sharks is only due to their natural predation behaviour, characterized by a quick and effective attack on the smaller marine animals that make up their diets. Just as lions hunt fiercely in the savannah, so sharks hunt at the bottom of the sea, but they shouldn’t be considered dangerous for that, as they’re performing one of their vital functions: feeding.
Do you want to meet other dangerous animals? Don’t miss our article on the world’s most dangerous animals.
Why do sharks attack humans?
When a population of sharks has its habitat in an area where it coincides with many people, the chances of attacks increase, provided other conditions are met, such as the following:
- Prey deficit common to sharks such as seals and other marine mammals, molluscs or reptiles such as sea turtles.
- Changes in habitat and environmental conditions force sharks to approach areas where there are usually people, such as the shores of tourist beaches.
- Confusion of people with possible prey. A common example is surfers, who sharks tend to perceive as sea turtles, and thus attacked.
Shark attacks in our country
Although the vast majority of attacks on people caused by sharks occur off the coasts of the United States, Australia and South Africa, attacks have also occurred in some parts of Spain. Many? The answer is really reassuring: there have been hardly three attacks on the Spanish coast since 1847. These attacks caused injuries and amputations in two of the cases and death and disappearance in the third.
This low number of attacks highlights the Low probability of a shark attacking a person on the beaches of Spain. Thus, although it is more common to see sharks in Mediterranean and Atlantic waters, the work of lifeguards and environmental organizations that fight for the protection of these marine animals allows bathers to be warned in advance, thus avoiding potential attacks.
If a shark attacks you, what you should do?
Although throughout the article we’ve found that the probability of a shark attacking people for no apparent reason is low, it’s helpful to be prepared and know some tips in case this happens. Write down:
- Try to stay calm and show the shark that you are neither a threat nor prey to him. For that, it’s useful that you don’t make sudden movements that make him nervous and that you try to look bigger so that he doesn’t consider you easy prey.
- In case a shark is already lurking around you and trying to attack you, you should always stay in front of it so as not to catch you off guard. In addition, it is good to take refuge on a rock, reef or any other type of surface so that you are not in view of the animal from different angles.
- If, despite trying to go unnoticed, the shark initiates the attack, remember that the play-dead technique with sharks doesn’t work. On the contrary, you must defend yourself and display strength. To do this, hit the shark if necessary, focusing on the most sensitive areas of its body, such as its eyes or gills.
- yes swim back to shore was a viable option, you should do it without any sudden movements of your arms or legs. Get medical help when you reach the coast.