The chances of being bitten by a shark are extremely slim. According to a Stanford-led study:
- Scuba divers are 6,897 times more likely to be hospitalized for diving-related decompression sickness than for white shark bites.
- Ocean-goers are 1,817 times more likely to drown than die from a shark attack.
- Scuba divers have a 1-in-136 million chance of being bitten.
- Surfers have a 1-in-17 million chance of being bitten.
Source: Stanford researchers show the risk of shark attacks is way down
The problem, of course, not everyone lives by statistics. Most of the time, we live by our emotions.
The chances of being bitten are getting slimmer by the day since there's a huge decline in shark numbers. The decline of sharks spells trouble for the ocean. Removing key species like sharks, can have serious consequences for marine ecosystems.
Next time you feel yourself getting a little irrational around sharks, start running the numbers in your head. For now, enjoy some of my favorite shark accounts found on Instagram!
Morne Hardenberg's interest and fascination for these fascinating predators started in the early 90's with his first shark encounter while free diving for crayfish off the coast of Gansbaai. Since then he has spent the last 15 years focusing on great white sharks through underwater filming, free-diving, research and shark tourism.