Thursday, July 12, 2012

Discovery Channel's Top 10 Deadliest Sharks????

With shark week quickly approaching, people will flock to their televisions and watch largely fictional shows. I say fiction because the facts that are presented in the majority of these shows are so far from the truth, it's almost disgusting. There are a few shows that offer good true information, but the majority simply do not. For example, one of the shows focuses on great white sharks lunging themselves into the air while grabbing seals. The show is called Air Jaws and it is full of pretty good information. The title is it's only flaw. I mean really, Jaws. Does Discovery Channel really need to continually bring up a book/movie that brought nothing but terror of sharks? I think not. Another show Blood In The Water, focuses on the 1916 New Jersey Shark attacks, but does it in such an over dramatized way that it comes off as almost a Sci-Fi show designed to strike fear into the heart of viewers and not really educate people on the 1916 shark attacks and how nobody truly knows exactly what caused the shark to attack several people. That's another story though, for now I'm going to dissect the show10 Deadliest Sharks. This show in particular is incredibly outrageous in its claims of the 10 "deadliest" sharks. Starting from number 10 using real statistics from the International Shark Attack File from 1580-2011. That's 431 years for anyone who was wondering...........

10.) Lemon Shark
Currently, there are 0 fatal shark attacks accredited to lemon sharks. So my question is this... How can a species of animal that has never killed a person be one of the deadliest sharks in the world? Literally, not a single person killed by a lemon shark yet they are somehow they are one of the deadliest in the world.

9.) Blue Shark
Currently, there are 4 fatal shark attacks accredited to blue sharks. That's 4 in 431 years. So that's like 1 in what? Every 100 years? If you ask me that hardly qualifies as deadly considering more people die in the strangest ways every year. Oddly enough it never seems to be from one of the 10 deadliest sharks in the world. What's even more interesting about this shark being one of the top 10 deadliest is that they rarely come in contact with humans. Occasionally they come close to shore, but for the most part they are out in the open ocean.

8.) Hammerheads
This one for the life of me I cannot wrap my head around. There are always stories of hammerhead sharks eating people, killing people, etc. Apparently, not a single one of them is well founded. According to the International Shark Attack File, hammerhead sharks are accredited with 0 fatal shark attacks. Similar to the lemon shark, this species has never killed a human being, yet it is one of the 10 deadliest in the world. I don't know about you, but that makes literally no sense.

7.) Sand Tiger Shark
Sand tiger sharks are accredited with a whopping 1 fatal shark attack. For the record that is 1 fatal attack in... 431 years. These sharks are so slow moving and tolerant, one would really have to try their best to tick it off in order to get it to bite. From working with this species of shark, I've learned that despite their fearsome looks, they are incredibly tolerant. Again, I hardly view this species of shark as a "deadly" shark.

6.) Grey Reef Shark
Yet another baffling claim. Grey reef sharks are another species of shark that are credited with 0 fatal attacks on humans. Meaning... This species of shark has never killed a person. Despite this, it ranks in at number 6 on the top 10 deadliest shark list. Notice a trend here? So far none of these sharks can really be deemed deadly. The closest you get so far is blue sharks, but again 1 in every 100 years or so is hardly deadly.

5.)Shortfin Mako
The fastest shark in the world ranks in at number 5 in the top 10. The number 5 shark is credited with a whopping 2 fatal attacks on humans. Despite their fast speed and ability to leap into boats, there are still just 2 people who have been killed by these sharks. Hate to beat a dead horse, but really, this is hardly a deadly shark.

4.) Oceanic Whitetip Shark
The oceanic whitetip, the number 4 deadliest shark is accredited with 3 fatal attacks on humans. Considering how much these sharks come in contact with people, 3 fatal attacks in 431 years is really nothing deadly. People fall over a bucket on the beach and die more than being killed by an oceanic whitetip.

3.) Tiger Shark
The first shark that I would even remotely call dangerous. Tiger sharks are accredited with 29 fatal attacks on humans. Still, 29 fatal attacks in 431 years is hardly something to be concerned with. If you have ever come in contact with a dog... That dog has greater odds of killing you than a tiger shark by a very large margin.

2.) Great White Shark
Great whites are probably the most misunderstood shark in the world. They are accredited with more fatal attacks than any other species of shark at 69, but in a 431 year time span, 69 is still a really small number. Despite a large number of fatalities, these sharks are far from man eaters. Nearly every great white attack on a human is the result of mistaken identity. Think about it. Seals make up a large part of a great white's diet. Think about how a surfer looks from underwater. Long body (board) with two front flippers (hands) and two rear flippers close together (feet). Not for nothing but it looks an awful lot like a seal and sharks, with vision not as good as human vision, can simply not tell the difference. The shark bites the person then vanishes. The reason there are 69 fatalities is not because the shark ate the person. The size of a great white and the teeth of a great white make them and incredibly dangerous animal, but deadly? I think I'd rather swim with a great white than a hippo.Hippos kill 2,900 people annually. Sharks, including the great white... Less than 5.

1.) Bull Shark
Bull sharks are an incredibly strange species of shark being able to go into fresh water as well as salt. They are accredited with 26 fatal attacks on humans. 26 fatal attacks makes them the deadliest shark in the world? Really? Yet another species of shark that are just a little more misunderstood than deadly. Yes, bull sharks are a dangerous species of shark, there is no denying that. Deadly though, that's a hard thing to say. On a yearly basis more people die from get this... Vending machines falling on them than from a bull shark.

Out of every one of these species of shark, I find it really hard to consider any of these species deadly. Even the great white I have a hard time calling deadly because they are not out to get people and they don't mean to kill people. Shows that are virtually unfounded like the Top 10 Deadliest Sharks do nothing but increase people's fear of sharks. Your odds of being killed by a shark are so tiny that shows like this don't even need to exist. If Discovery had a show that featured the top 10 deadliest mammals, you would see an insane amount of fatal attacks compared to the "statistics" found in this show. Discovery won't tell you that the lemon, hammerhead, and grey reef shark have killed a grand total of 0 people combined over the last 431 years. Instead they will insist that these sharks are deadly because they bite. Not for nothing, but anything with a mouth can potentially bite.

The great white and bull sharks are the only ones that I can honestly say are dangerous sharks. The bull shark is the only one I can honestly say would bite a person without reason due to their aggressive nature and massive range of prey items. Even with them, often times the shark bites and leaves. No truly deadly animal I can think of would do that. Great whites have been the focus of so many movies and shows that there is this image of Jaws that has put them in a unique position. No other animal on the face of this planet that has killed 69 people in a 431 year time span has gotten so much attention. Trust me there are far more dangerous animals in the world than a great white, but many people don't see it that way. As a result scientists now believe that there are fewer than 3,500 great white sharks left in the world. Still, people seek to kill them in the name of saving lives. You tell me who the deadlier animal is. Great whites or humans.

In conclusion, think about the things you see on the television during Shark Week. I'm sure this stupid show will air once again and will strike fear into many people. Don't let yourselves be one of those people. You just read statistics that come straight from the International Shark Attack File. They are the authority on shark attacks, not Discovery Channel. In reality there is no top 10 deadliest sharks in the world. There are 11 species of shark that have committed a fatal attack, but out of those 11, only the great white, tiger, and bull have killed more than 7 people in 431 years. Seems to me not a single species of shark is really a deadly species, especially when humans kill well over 40,000,000 sharks EVERY YEAR. You can decide for yourselves if sharks are truly "deadly" or not, but according to 431 years of data, I find it impossible to believe they are.

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