How to Survive a Shark Attack

by Brett & Kate McKay on May 4, 2010 · 50 comments

in Manly Skills, Survival

Ahhhh…. life couldn’t be better. You’re finally on that vacation in the Florida Keys that you’ve been planning for the past year. And it couldn’t have come any sooner. Things were getting crazy at the office.

Duh-da…

You’re relaxing on a rubber raft that’s floating about 50 yards from shore while you let the sun rays wash all your cares away.

Duh-da…

You decide to head back to the resort to challenge your wife to a game of volleyball, but then you see something swimming towards you underwater…

Duh-da duh-da duh-da duh-da

HOLY CRAP! IT’S A FREAKING SHARK!!!!!

You start to wish you were back at the office.

_______________________________

Sharks are scary. Way scary.  Thanks to Jaws and Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, anytime I step foot in the ocean, I’m always on the lookout for sharks. It also doesn’t help that anytime there’s a shark attack in the U.S., the media covers it for weeks. All the coverage can give a person the idea that sharks are swimming around shores across the world just waiting for you to get in the water so they can tear you to shreds.

The reality is that shark attacks are a rare event and my fear is completely irrational. We humans probably kill more sharks every year than sharks have killed humans in the history of the world. Back in 2000 (the year with the most recorded shark attacks) there were only 79 attacks worldwide. 79. To put things in perspective, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning and dying than you do of getting attacked by a shark.

But there’s always that chance you’ll one day run into a shark. Just ask Bethany HamiltonOr any of these people.  In that rare event, it’s always good to be prepared. Here’s what to do in order to face a shark and live to tell about it.

Where Do Most Shark Attacks Occur?

According to the International Shark Attack File, the majority of shark attacks in the world occur in the United States. The states with the most attacks are Florida, Hawaii, California, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Outside of the U.S., Australia and South Africa have had the most attacks.

So let’s say you’re in one of these geographic areas for a day at the beach. Which parts of the water should you avoid? Well, sharks usually feed in areas with steep drop-offs or in between sandbars. If you swim around these areas, you’re likely to bump into a hungry shark who might think you look like one of the sea lions he’s devouring for dinner. So, it’s probably a good idea to avoid these areas.

What Types of Sharks Attack Humans?

While over 360 different shark species exist, only 20 species are known to attack humans. Of those 20 species, only four have been involved in a significant number of fatal, unprovoked attacks on humans. The first step of beating your enemy is knowing your enemy. Let’s take a look at these four man-eaters so you know what to scout for the next time you’re out in the water.

The Great White


Thanks to Jaws, the great white is the most infamous of all the man-eating sharks. They live primarily in coastal areas, particularly along the shores of Australia, California, and the Northwestern U.S. The great white is the world’s largest predatory fish. This behemoth can reach lengths of 20 feet and and weigh up to 5,000 pounds. 5,000 pounds! In addition to its size, the great white has a large conical snout that distinguishes it from other sharks.

Tiger Shark

Tiger sharks live close to shore in tropical and sub-tropical waters. When they’re young, tiger sharks have spots or stripes much like a tiger, hence the name. Tiger sharks are a killing machine. They can reach speeds of 20 mph and can sometimes go faster if they’re really hungry. Their teeth are designed to slice through flesh, bone, and even turtle shells like a Ginsu knife cutting through a tomato. One of the tiger shark’s secret weapons is a series of pits on the side of its body that hold electrical sensors. Most sharks have these, but they’re particularly sensitive in tiger sharks. These little sensors detect the electro-magnetic fields of other organisms, allowing the tiger shark to hunt its prey without even seeing them. Yeah, tiger sharks can kill you even if it’s pitch black in the water. Sort of like the Predator.

Bull Shark

The bull shark likes to hang out in warm, shallow waters along coasts. Unlike the other sharks on this list, the bull shark can tolerate fresh water, so they’ll even work their way up into rivers every now and then just for the heck of it. Some have even made it all the way to St. Louis, MO via the Mississippi River. Consequently, these bad boys are responsible for most of the near-shore attacks on humans.

Bull sharks have a gray top and a white bottom. They’re wide, sort of like a bull, but they don’t get as big as the great white. Males usually reach lengths of 6 feet. Females can reach lengths of 13 feet.

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

These suckers have attacked more humans than all the other species combined. The oceanic whitetip shark spends most of its time in deeper waters, but will come to shallower waters every now and then. Because it spends most of its time in deeper waters, scuba divers and people involved in boating accidents tend to be its main victims. Its distinguishing characteristics are its long wing-like pectoral and dorsal fins.

Types of Shark Attacks

There are two types shark attacks: provoked and unprovoked. Provoked attacks occur when the human touches the shark first. These usually happen when some knucklehead scuba diver tries to feed a shark or grab its tail on a dare. If you’re dumb enough to grab a shark by its tail, you deserve whatever you get. Sorry.

Unprovoked attacks happen when you’re just chilling on your surfboard and a shark swims up, bites your leg, and pulls you down into the water Jaws-style. Why do sharks attack humans? It’s probably not for food. Humans don’t make a good meal for sharks because we don’t have the fat that sharks need to power their huge, scary bodies. It’s more likely the shark is just figuring out what you are. Unlike most animals that check things out by looking at the object or smelling it, sharks just bite the hell out of whatever they’re exploring. It’s messy, but it gets the job done.

In the area of unprovoked shark attacks, scientists have observed three different kinds: the hit and run, the bump and bite, and the sneak attack.

The Hit and Run. This is the most common type of attack. It occurs in surf zones where swimmers and surfers are easy targets. The victim usually doesn’t see the shark before he feels its teeth sinking into his flesh. After sneaking up on the victim like a ninja, the shark will take one bite and then swim off, never returning.

Why do sharks do this? Because they can. That’s why. But seriously, he was probably just curious about what you were and wanted to find out by taking a chunk of your leg. After sampling your bad tasting meat, he decided to find lunch somewhere else.

Your chance of surviving a hit and run attack are pretty good, barring the shark hitting any vital organs with his bite and if you get medical attention immediately.

Bump and Bite. Unlike the hit and run, the victim will often see the shark before it attacks. The shark will start off by circling its potential victim and giving him a few bumps with its snout. You know. To mess with you.

After sufficiently scaring the crap out of you, the shark will start biting you. Repeatedly.

Bump and bite attacks result in severe injuries or fatalities. They usually occur in deeper waters, but can sometimes occur near shore.

Sneak Attacks. Sneak attacks are sort of like the hit and run- the victim usually can’t see the shark before the attack. But unlike the hit and run attack, where the shark will take a gnaw of your arm and then swim off, in sneak attacks the shark will bite repeatedly. Usually until you die.

Preventing Shark Attacks

The best way to survive a shark attack is to avoid one in the first place. Just follow these guidelines so your foot doesn’t end up in the stomach of a tiburon.

Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and evacuate the water if sharks are seen while you’re there. Beaches will often post warnings to avoid swimming because sharks have been spotted in the area. You’d think people would heed these warnings, but several attacks have occurred when individuals ignored these warnings and went swimming anyway.

Stay in groups. Sharks are more likely to pick off lone individuals.

Don’t wander too far from shore. If you’re in an area that’s a habitat for sharks, stay close to shore. Of course, if bull sharks are in the area, you’re screwed because those devils love shallow water.

Avoid water during darkness or twilight hours. Sharks are most active at these times.

Don’t enter the water if you’re bleeding. You’re basically telling sharks “Hey, over here! Eat me!” Sharks have a powerful sense of smell. Just one whiff of your blood, and they’ll be on you faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

Don’t pee in the water. We’ve all done it.  1) We’re too lazy to get out of the water to go to the bathroom and 2) It kind feels good to pee while sitting in a body of water. But if you’re in an area where sharks are prevalent, better to hold your pee until you can make it ashore. Sharks might pick up on the scent of your fragrant urine and swim over to check things out.

Avoid steep drop-offs and waters in between sandbars. We covered this bit above.

Avoid shiny jewelry and bright clothing. Sharks have a pretty good sense of sight. They can see contrasts especially well. Shiny jewelry and bright clothing provide a nice contrast to the dark water of the ocean, making you a very visible target. If Mr. T one day decides to go surfing, he’s a dead man.

Avoid waters being used by sport or commercial fisherman. Fisherman leave a lot of scraps and bait in the water. Other fish come to nibble on the leftovers, creating a huge mass of potential shark food. These areas essentially become Shark Golden Corral. Don’t put yourself on the buffet menu by swimming in these areas.

Fending Off a Shark Attack

A pile driver is always an effective method of fending off a shark attack

So you’ve done all you can to prevent a shark attack, but today just isn’t your day. How do you fend off an attacking shark and come out alive?  Here’s how to do it.

Reduce the shark’s possible angles of attack. If you’re lucky enough to see the shark before it attacks you, increase your chances of survival by backing up against a reef or rock pile. That way you only have to fend off attacks in front of you instead of having to fend off attacks from 360 degrees.

Hit him where it hurts. Your best chance of fending off a shark attack is pummeling a shark in its most sensitive areas. The shark’s nards aren’t it (they are on a wolfman, though). Instead aim for the eyes and gills. The nose is also a sensitive spot on a shark, but not as sensitive as the eyes and the gills. Also, you risk injuring your hand when you aim for the nose because you might miss it and glance your hand off the shark’s razor sharp teeth.

Use a weapon. Use anything at your disposal for a weapon- goggles, camera, rocks, sticks, etc. Some experts recommend that divers who will be in shark infested waters carry a shark “billy.” It’s just a three foot stick with a sharpened point. When a shark gets a little too close for comfort, you can give a few quick jabs to the gills to scare the shark off. If you don’t have any weapons, just use your hands… like a man.

Use sharp, quick, and repeated jabs. Whether you’re using your bare fists or some sort of weapon, make sure to make quick, straight  jabs. If you swing your arm like you’re trying to deliver an overhand punch, you’ll only create drag and slow your arm down.

Never give-up, never surrender. Keep pummeling the shark’s eyes and gills until you either die or the shark goes away. If you create enough trouble for the shark, he’ll eventually give up and find something easier to eat.

Get out of the water and get help immediately. Whew. The bastard is gone and you’re still alive. But you’re probably in bad shape. Really bad shape. You’re likely bleeding something horrible which only creates a scent to attract more sharks. Get out of the water as fast as you can. Once out, seek medical care ASAP.

Develop an awesome bar story. On your trip to the hospital, start coming up with the story you’re going to tell the folks at the bar. No one will ever be able to top this tale.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Johnny the Freemason May 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Hilarious, but informative. Well done again, good sir.
I’ll stick to swimming here in Minnesota, where hopefully the muskies and pike aren’t too surly……

2 Chris Mower May 5, 2010 at 12:17 am

This is now one of my all-time favorite articles not only on AOM, but on the entire Internet! Sharks scare the crap out of me, and you’ve managed to integrate fear, humor, and great advice all into one article. Clever, my friend, very clever. I think I’ll still stick to the swimming pools and mountain lakes that I’m used to. Most living creatures in the midwestern lakes only nibble your toes, not take a giant bite out of your side.

3 Jeff May 5, 2010 at 12:31 am

My method of surviving a shark attack is, STAY AWAY for the fish with the big a** teeth.
This has been very effective for me :)

4 Jerome May 5, 2010 at 12:50 am

Thanks for this article. I’ll admit that I’m irrationally scared of sharks, but this has mitigated my fear.

But more importantly, +100 on the Monster Squad reference.

5 Ian Reide May 5, 2010 at 1:34 am

haha Great article. Just keep jabbing the shark. I will try not to forget that one. How about an article on how to survive a crocodile attack? For all those US tourists in Australia?

6 Marc May 5, 2010 at 2:09 am

where did the illustration that leads the article come from? it’s fantastic

7 Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com May 5, 2010 at 2:10 am

It always gets rif of the irrational fear a little if you know how to defend yourself. It’s still irrational though :). It’s those Jaws films that give us the huge fear.

8 Daniel Baird May 5, 2010 at 3:52 am

Great article. Should also throw in that if you are scuba diving and see a shark it is better to descend than resurface. If you resurface they think you are a seal and you will end up as breakfast, but if you descend they see the bubbles from your tank and that scares them.

9 Autobraz May 5, 2010 at 5:38 am

Just adding Northeast Brazil to the “watch out” list. Specially Pernambuco State.

10 Playstead May 5, 2010 at 5:43 am

My all-time biggest fear. I’ll sleep with one eye open tonight after reading this …

11 Jack May 5, 2010 at 6:59 am

This article reads more like Maxim or Cracked than Art of Manliness. Please don’t continue to do that.

12 Grace May 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

i was laughing, but had scaredy-cat goosebumps at the same time!!

13 Kyle May 5, 2010 at 9:05 am

Hmmm… Heading to Florida in a couple of months. I may print this out to take with me… you know, just in case.

Thanks for the great article!

14 Joel | Blog Of Impossible Things May 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

“A pile driver is always an effective method of fending off a shark attack”

Well said. Well said. =)

15 Sharon Hurley Hall May 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

Funny and informative. I especially love: “If you’re dumb enough to grab a shark by its tail, you deserve whatever you get.” Personally, I’m staying well away from shark infested waters, but thanks to this article if one sneaks up on me I’ll bop him in the eyes.

16 Rob May 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

Though it didn’t happen to me, I have a good one:

Old roommate of mine in Santa Cruz was a research diver for the University. *Nick* mostly did population counts, rigging, standard stuff. He was a beefy fellow too, not all that tall, but the most ripped guy I know of, tanned as leather, short hair. Surprisingly shy around girls too.
Anyways, he and his dive buddy were down in Monterey doing some study on the outer kelp beds. They swam out past the forest and started doing their work. About 15 minutes goes by without a hiccup. They were writing notes to each other on the wax boards, doing their job.
Now, when you go SCUBA diving, there are rigid protocols that go along with it. You use 1/3 of the tank to go down and spent doing work, 1/3 to go back up, and 1/3 for emergency. The 1/3 to go back up is for the dive stops. At the depths Nick was researching, the pressure of the water will cause The Bends. Going back up, you have to sit and wait at a certain depth to out-gas the compressed nitrogen in your body. Otherwise, that gas will boil out of your blood at the surface. Incredible pain of boiling blood is the least worrisome part of The Bends. One of those bubble could go into your heart or brain, you die real slow and painful. Needless to say, SCUBA is dangerous. Compound the natural dangers of the water and pressure with Monterey being a hot spot for marine life, and boy, you have a ball of a time.
Nick would also tell stories of the otters trying to steal specimens, of seals being territorial under the water, of jagged reefs, of orcas attacking humpback calves. The Monterey Bay is nice, and there is a lot of life in the underwater canyon up wells, but that also means a lot of predators. The area was also part of the Red Triangle, a Great White mating spot.
Anyways, back to Nick. He and his partner were getting finished up with the research that day, ready start the dive stops up, and get somewhere warm. Dragging the foot fins across the rocks lazily, Nick was used to the flippers getting caught on the seafloor. However, when he tried to kick free once, they flipper just would not budge. In fact, he said, it stopped working altogether. The next part happens in all of 2 seconds. He notices his fin is not working. How is that possible? did it break in half? I better check it out.
As Nick turned to flip on his back, breathing the slow methodic air of the SCUBA tanks on his back, laden with weight belts, wetsuit, research equipment and snorkel, he came face to face with a disheveled, skinny, cold eyed Great White Shark.
His heart rate went through the roof, his eyes dilated, the world was black and white, and there before him was a very Hungry Great White shark.
Nick saw the shark chomp once with the half way in his mouth. Twice, the flipper was barely in his maw, opening again, the artificial plastic fell out, the shark disinterested in the tire-like rubber.
Nick instinctively had his right hand go for his dive knife strapped on the tank harness above his heart. His fingers wrapped around the foam handle, and attempted to pull the blade from the sheath. The strap securing the metal held it firm to his chest. Panicking, Nick yanked once more on his only choice.
And then it hit him.
The realization that this creature from the depths already had him. That Nick was going to die, going to be eaten. that this shark could easily have chewed off his legs, severed and artery, killed him without a second thought.
So Nick didn’t yank, he just floated there, staring at his doom, his own personal angel of death, a lip less mouth of teeth and two cold eyes.
And the shark stared back at him, and it swam off to Nick’s left, to the cold blue open ocean.
The flipper didn’t taste all that good, and the shark didn’t want to eat him if he didn’t taste all that good either.
Nick swam up to his dive partner, still unaware of the shark. He yanked on his fin, motioned at the murky silhouette of the Great White pealing off. And gave an emergency surface signal.
Blowing through all the dive stops, they surfaced and swam to fishing boat in the distance as fast as the adrenaline let them. Climbing into the man’s boat, the subtle pain of The Bends crept into Nick’s joints. His ruined fin still attached to his foot.

Nick, told us this, lounging in a hammock on the little porch we had in the apartment. He was still attached to his legs and feet, a little discomfort from the nitrogen still in his blood, but nothing major. He had already nailed the crossed flippers to the wall of the apartment, one whole, the other barely more than a widened shoe. Nick was pulled out of the water for a month with pay for psych evaluations. He played guitar and drank tea for most of that month. Now he’s in Alaska at grad school, diving and doing gold mining through silt vacuuming of river mouths, makes good money too.

The day after the incident, a surfer near where he was working the kelp in Monterey was chewed in half. More than likely, it was the same shark Nick was at the mercy of, hungry from the abyss off California.

*Name changed

17 Jason May 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Loved the article. One of my favorites.

Please don’t listen to killjoys like Jack. I love the humor. Humor is not only compatible, but an essential part of manliness. Jack’s comment sounds like someone who 1) hasn’t read AoM very long (other articles have the same kind of humor, as does the book!), and 2) didn’t watch the video you posted this week! For shame! So be loyal to your longtime readers!

18 Daniel May 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm

>>sharks usually feed in areas with steep drop-offs or in between sandbars. If you swim around these areas, you’re likely to bump into a hungry shark who might think you look like one of the sea lions he’s devouring for dinner.<<

"Likely to bump into a hungry shark"? Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration? Kee-rist I hope so.

19 men's t-shirts May 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Great piece – although hopefully I’ll never need the advice!

20 David Black May 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Pile driver!

21 Chris May 5, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I research sharks in Hawaii (currently my subject is the scalloped hammerhead shark) and was amused by this article (especially the pictures). I’d just like to point out a couple things:
1. It’s ok to pee in the water. Unless your pee smells like ground up squid you should be fine.
2. Most shark attacks occur in water less than 3 ft. Why? That’s where most people are.
3. Punching the nose might not be your best bet. Many sharks have a reflex to open their mouths when their noses are touched. Not the reaction you want with your arm right there.
4. The electric organs on the shark are the ampullae of Lorenzini. All sharks (and sting rays and many fish) have them, and they are actually most sensitive in the hammerhead shark family.
But bottom line, if you’re cautious you’ll probably never even see a shark in your life. If you do, keep a respectful distance, and take pictures like crazy. It’ll definitely add to any shark-encounter yarns you decide to weave.

22 Eric May 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm

If you’re punching a shark, are you punching under water? If so, is that easy to do, doesn’t the water slow you down too much?

23 Valerie May 6, 2010 at 12:54 am

Haha! I loved this! I love the water but am also deathly afraid of dark or murky water. If the bathtub has too many bubbles I get the heebie geebies.

24 Thad May 6, 2010 at 11:33 am

Ha! I knew that this article was going to be written here at some point … nonetheless, great (and hilarious) job!

25 Kevin May 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

Next week can you write an article on “How to survive a lightning attack” since that has slightly better odds of happening.

26 Jonathan Davis May 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I’m heading to Wilmington, NC (my favorite city) in the morning.

Will be in the water most likely and can’t wait. I’ve actually seen a 10-14′ shark caught not far from there.

I personally think baracuda are more intimidating that sharks, especially while snorkling or spearfishing.

27 Chris May 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Do those emergency air horns work underwater? I wonder if they would scare off a shark.

28 Brett McKay May 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm

@Marc-

The illustration is actually from a cover of a “men’s adventure” magazine from the 50s. It’s a really interesting genre and I’ll be doing a whole post soon on the topic along with showing more cool covers.

29 Aaron P May 7, 2010 at 4:37 am

I’ve lived in Daytona Beach for 15 years now and frequent the beach @ least once a week between the months of April and November. I also swim solo for the most-part. Usually couple hundred feet or so from shore and parallel a mile or two. You know what, I’ve only encountered a shark once and that was last year. It was a rough day with dumpers and about a 4ft sandbar. All he did was bump me in the thigh and keep on going. I will never understand this unwarranted fear of sea life. I’ve had people yap @ me about jellies, sharks, dolphins, etc etc. I am truly saddened by this fear that hampers people. It’s sad when I walk out over the boardwalk on a bright, sunshiny day and see not a one soul enjoying the water. I say “They are more afraid of you then you’ll ever be of it.” O yeah same applies for gators too.

30 Greg Lilly May 7, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I’d much prefer to fend them off with my camera. i wouldn’t go wading in the water where they are, but remember you are more dangerous to it than it is to you

31 David @ Super Awesome Dating May 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Definitely the best way to survive a shark attack is to avoid one all together. That makes sense because a shark is a well developed predator. Your pretty helpless in the water against one, but like you said, don’t give up without a fight and if you make it out alive develop and awesome bar story :)

32 Duke May 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Great article. I, too, would enjoy reading what you have to say on the art of Surviving a Alligator or Crocodile Attack, as I lived in Louisiana for a while back and was a LOT more afraid of coming across one of those buggers then swimming with sharks.

33 Joe Butler May 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Yeah you freaking shark, I’m gonna punch you in your face, come near me will ya…

An excellent article sir, informative and amusing. Thank you for posting this.

34 sgt. rock May 22, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Does this advice help fighting off the sharks on Wall Street and the Banking industry?

35 Wino May 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Stumbled across this site by accident. Totally Awesome.

Punch the shark huh? Hmmm. I would have went with crap my pants and cry like a little girl. But you guys are probably more knowledgeable than I am.

36 John Paddles McLachlan May 31, 2010 at 6:58 am

Nice article. I’ll add something from my own personal experience as I used to do a lot of spear fishing (sometimes alone) on the great barrier reef. This story is actually on the same reef where a famous aussie nature film maker was killed by a sting ray (Batt Reef). Its inshore reef so the water can get pretty cloudy, especially in summer. I remember spearing a couple of coral trout–quality fish but started losing them as soon they were speared by Bull sharks. They would race out of the deep water behind me and rip the fish off the end of my spear line. Then a couple of big ones surfaced right in front of me, started circling in close and showing all the aggressive shark signs–and I was still a long way from my boat. I remembered the Islander trick to unscrew the point off the spear. The shark comes in for a ‘bump and go’ and you let go with your shot, drilling the shark but the spear comes right out again. The point is, you NEVER want to spear it with barb still attached in that situation cos then you’re stuck with a very angry animal attached to your line about 3 meters away, pulling you under and a potential frenzy situation on your hands.

37 Fen June 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

Tried the piledriver, i suggest using gloves.

38 Pete June 15, 2010 at 2:33 am

Back in the 1980s a good pal of mine helped me move down to Atlanta. As thanks, we visit my folks on HIlton Head Island, and did some water-skiing behind my parent’s boat. This friend was city-born and bred, and when some dolphins breeched near him, he mistook them for sharks and man alive – that guy like to walk on water getting to the boat! We all had a good laugh afterwards, and he was a good sport about it.
The joke was on me, though, because you should have taken my pulse when I encountered some hammerheads snorkling over some coral reefs not too long after that, down in the Bahamas.

Speaking of Hilton Head, someone above noted being afraid of gators. They had ‘em all over the place on the islands, including in all of the lagoons and lakes on the golf courses and near condos and homes. You learned not to let your dog out unsupervised, lest he become a nice little snack for one of the gators. True story: a golfer who liked fishing old golf balls out of the lakes on the courses on Hilton Head Isle hung back one day to fish some out of a specific lagoon after he and his pals had finished a hole. His friends went on ahead, and when he didn’t show after some time, they got alarmed and went looking for him. Finally, hours later, the poor man was found to have been taken by a large gator in that very same lagoon. This happened in the 1990s.

39 Window On The Prairie June 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Well, we don’t have sharks here in Kansas, but it’s good to know anyway. :o)
Suzanne

40 Elissa June 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

This was a great read! I am terrified of even the idea of sharks (even pics scare the hell out of me) and I was smiling and laughing through this whole thing!

41 Marv June 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Why when it comes to being attacked by a shark do people always say things like, “don’t worry, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning.” I really don’t see how that is a much better alternative. How about, “don’t worry, you have a better chance of getting caught up in a naked pillow fight between Jessica Alba and Megan Fox.” I would probably have a better chance of being attacked by a shark and then having that shark struck by lightning.

42 Patrick July 22, 2010 at 2:59 am

Great article….I’m gonna go for the Smith & Wesson .45 as opposed to the pile driver. Been kayaking the Monterey Bay for the past few days with the kiddies. Sharks be forewarned. I will get my MANLINESS on if you decide to engage. I’ve got opposable thumbs that are registred with the F.B.I.

43 Bill August 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

Great read! I’d probably be having another jaws nightmare tonight…if I slept.

44 Tac September 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Has anyone thought of using a bang stick (basically a shotgun shell on the end of a stick…..you punch it in and it fires off)? A load of number 1 buckshot into a shark’s gills should be a punch he’ll never quite forget…..

45 Carlos November 2, 2012 at 11:51 am

Being a surfer, on the west coast of the US, I’ve had occasion to encounter sharks. Sharks are most prevalent where shark food is found. Stay away from seals / sea lions! When in Hawaii, resist the urge to swim with the sea turtles. And don’t act like bait! No crazy splashing and playing. Save that for the pool. Be confident. Sharks can smell fear.

46 Stefan March 8, 2013 at 10:49 am

In Iceland the sharks are afraid of us. We hunt them, chop them into little bits and eat them like candy. The taste is horrifying but some people eat the like candy I swear.
When i was reading this I instantly thought of Billy Connolly and his shark story.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42g4BLEatCk
It start’s at around 3:40

47 Wesley March 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

this info got me an A at school

48 Chris May 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Great reading them stories, im facinated with sharks. Coming from the uk the closest i get to a great white is on discovery, i went to our beach with the kids and while swimming in the polluted waters i came face to face with a jelly fish, i shit my pants and never been in the water since, respect to you americans…

49 JOHN May 16, 2013 at 8:08 am

I am surprised to see White Tip Sharks on your list. I just got back from APO Reef in Philippines and there were several white tips around at times and they ignored us. No one thought that was unusual either.

50 Dani Karlsen April 9, 2014 at 6:52 am

Hi

Beeing a Norwegian I have newer encountered a shark. I really would like to see one, but at the same time they scare the crap out of me. Currently I’m on honeymoon on Zanzibar and I just finished my scooba licence yesterday. At some points in the deep you could just make the hints out of something lurking beyond visual range, but they where only large fish and not sharks. Probably going to keep the sharks more in mind after reeding this.:P Great article, laughed out loud several times! 👍

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