“Wow, you’re a scuba diver? That must be so scary! Aren’t you afraid of shark attacks?!” It’s something I hear a lot (relatively). But, as a diver, the thought of seeing one of these majestic creatures underwater is really exciting. Although the news and movies such as Jaws might have made it seem like you’re at risk of shark attacks every time you go near the ocean, it’s actually very low.
In 2015, there were 98 shark attacks globally with just six of those being fatal, according to Nat Geo. Here are a few unexpected things that are more likely to kill you than being munched on by a shark:
It’s estimated that around 24,000 people are killed by lightning each year — so you’re FOUR THOUSAND times more likely to be killed by a lightning bolt than by a shark attack.
If you’re not allergic to bee stings, bees are pretty harmless. If you are, though, it’s a different story.
Everyone is pretty clued up now that smoking kills. But did you know around five million people aged 30+ died from smoking in 2004 (says the WHO)? Plus, if that wasn’t bad enough, smoking is particularly risky if you’re a scuba diver (and want to see all those sharks) as it increases your likelihood of getting bent. Time to stub out that cigarette.
Not only is a mosquito bite itchy and annoying; it can also give you malaria. This fatal (and prevantable) disease caused 445,000 deaths in 2016 (source: WHO), mainly in Africa.
In America alone, there are 10–20 deaths from dog bites each year (says the World Health Organisation). Globally, around 55,000 people die from rabies every year, with the majority of these being caused by bites from rabid dogs.
According to the World Health Organisation, road accidents caused 1.3 million people in 2015 and is among the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
Every Town for Gun Safety says 93 Americans are killed by guns EACH DAY — and that’s just in the States!
So, without freaking you out about all these other things, I hope that puts it in perspective why shark attacks really should be very low on your list of worries! You might even learn to love them…