Shark attacks are not very common. We don’t need to live every week as though it’s “Shark Week.” That said, they do happen and can be serious. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a deep-dive to find out where shark attacks happen the most.
Starting with a Reality Check
To begin, let’s review some basic shark facts that we’ve touched on before. The hidden dangers of sharks in the water
are greatly overblown. In the United States, the odds of being attacked by a shark are roughly one in 3.7 million. Even further, the odds of dying from a shark attack are less than one in 264.1 million.
For extra assurance, according to NatGeo
, here are some basic shark attack facts that should put many fears in perspective:
- Only five people die from shark attacks yearly, while millions of people die from starvation.
- You have a one in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark during your lifetime.
As you can see, being perpetually afraid of shark attacks is probably not a wise use of your time. Worldwide, there are an estimated 70-100 shark attacks each year. Of these, there are usually only about five deaths.
That’s a relief, but it doesn’t mean you should completely drop your guard. Just last week, several New York beaches temporarily closed due to a lifeguard unexpectedly being bitten by a shark. This happened in an area where sharks are not often seen. When stepping into potentially dangerous waters, it is important to be extra vigilant. The first safety step is knowing where shark attacks happen the most.
Knowing Where Shark Attacks Happen the Most in the United States
Worldwide, Australia and the United States are where shark attacks happen the most. Since our readership is mostly based in the U.S., let’s place our focus there. While the United States accounts for more than half
of the world’s shark attacks, try to remember how infrequent these attacks occur.
Overall, the states with the most shark attacks shouldn’t surprise most people. Due to their beaches and reputations, the answer may be obvious to some. These most common attacks occur in Florida, Hawaii, California, and the Carolinas. In fact, Florida is sometimes referred to as the "shark attack capital of the world
." This state alone accounts for nearly half of the shark attacks in the U.S.
How Can You Avoid Shark Attacks?
Now that you know where shark attacks happen the most, let’s talk about how to avoid them in the first place. As stated earlier, most shark attacks will not be fatal. Sharks tend not to like the taste of people. As a result, most attacks seem to be hit-and-runs. A shark takes a quick bite, then wanders off out of disinterest.
The best advice is to obey posted warnings. Swimmers would do well to listen to these, and all other warning signs. Additionally, you should only swim where a professional on-duty lifeguard
is present. These lifeguards will be able to spot sharks in the water and warn the crowd before an incident occurs.
Additionally, always swim with a group. Bring at least one friend with you. There is safety in numbers. The buddy system
works, in this case, because sharks often will notice the crowd and seek out less heavily guarded prey. Beyond this, be sure to stay close to the shore and avoid night swimming.
By paying close attention to posted warnings, you will know where shark attacks happen the most. By taking extra precautions, you’ll be able to limit the possibility of being attacked. Stay alert and you will be in very good shape for the open water.