Since 1580 the International Shark Attack File has recorded thousands of shark attacks and hundreds of fatalities. Why then, you may ask yourself, have the 3 deadliest sharks only accounted for 117 (65, 27, and 25, respectively) of those deaths? The simple answer is that many shark-related deaths are difficult to report. Tooth remains are seldom found in wounds and are often difficult to discern even by trained professionals. Sharks may also kill victims before witnesses (when present) have a chance to identify species.
That said, it’s no surprise that the white, tiger, and bull shark are the “Big Three” in shark attacks worldwide due to their inherent size, presence in areas where humans enter water, and teeth designed to shear rather than hold. Speaking of size, humans are definitely at a bit of a disadvantage in the water. Consider these statistics next time you’re thinking about picking a fight with a shark:
- Human: Average 165 pounds
- Bull Shark: Up to 700 pounds
- Tiger Shark: Up to 1,400 pounds
- Great White Shark: Up to 5,000 pounds