The world's most shark-infested regions
Smell, sight, hearing, eletroreceptions and lateral line are the main shark senses. They provide critical information for the activation of protection defenses and attacks.
The average shark life expectancy is of between 20 and 30 years, depending on the species.
Sharks can reach a swim speed of 20 kilometres per hour (12 miles per hour), when preparing an attack. Great white sharks can even peak at 50 kilometres per hour (31 miles per hour).
The most dangerous and deadly species of sharks are: the great white shark, the tiger shark and the bull shark. Get details about shark-infested surfing regions.
The requiem shark, the sand tiger shark, the black tip shark, the narrow tooth shark, the hammerhead shark, the spinner shark and the blue shark complete the list of the 10 most lethal species of underwater predators.
How to survive a shark attack
If you sight a shark in the water, first of all, stay as calm as possible.
Do not swim or paddle fast to shore, otherwise you'll ignite a shark attack.
Track the shark and try to understand if the animal is swimming around or preparing an attack.
Try to find obstacles, corners, cliffs, rocks, boats or shallow waters.
If you're scuba diving, make air bubbles. Sharks don't enjoy bubbles.
Sharks are strong, but they can be beaten.
If a shark attacks, defend yourself by hitting the predator in the eyes and gills. There's a good chance that he will leave the scene.
Finally, swim to the shore. Blood loss should be immediately stopped with clothes, while the medical teams arrive to help you.
The International Shark Attack File has been building and updating the largest shark database in the world, with individual investigations of shark attacks worldwide.
The fear of sharks is known as galeophobia.
Panic, racing heartbeat, nervousness, mental anguish and even dizziness are the most common symptoms when fearing sharks.
Shark phobia can only be treated with hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.
Go undercover to avoid sharks
Sharks are known for their accurate vision. High contrast are easily spotted by sharks underwater.
Yellow, white and red rash guards and wetsuits are especially visible to sharks, so surfers should avoid them in particularly classic shark-infested waters.
Light reflection caused by watches, jewelry or metal gear should be reduced, too. Dark blue surf gear is always a good option.
From The Adrenalist:
At one time or another, the thought has crossed the mind of every watersport-loving Adrenalist: “what lurks below my treading legs?” For those who frequent rivers and lakes, the answer’s probably large-mouthed bass or, at the very worst, a snake that will bury itself deep beneath the sand as soon as it senses the smallest aquatic reverberation.
For those of us who use oceanic sports to quench our thirst for adventure, however, “what if” scenarios yield larger, finned submarine fears. We’re talking, of course, about sharks. Sometimes we think our active imaginations might be blowing things out of proportion, but while researching this piece we were reminded of the very real dangers these animals pose. Before you set out to surf or swim this summer, take a peek at the world’s most shark-infested beaches and remember to always pay close attention to the beach patrol’s shark sighting announcements. Shark attacks are rare, but they happen frequently enough to take notice.
We don’t mean to be alarmists and the ocean is out there for you to conquer it. We’re just saying be careful, Adrenalists.
Photo Credit: ironypoisoning / Flickr.com
West End, Grand Bahamas Island, Bahamas
“Sharky” beaches aren’t just those that clock the greatest number of attacks. Sometimes a destination is highlighted merely for the large number of sharks swimming in its waters. Grand Bahamas Island is a prime example. Notorious for having a high density of sharks (from the shallowest depths to the reaches of “Tiger Beach,”a veritable condo association of tiger sharks that scares away even the most experienced professional divers), the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) reports the area has not had a fatal incident since 1973. Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Don’t be lulled into a sense of false security. That stat could just mean people have smartened up and seldom swim in waters known to be infested. Or, it could mean recent swimmers have been lucky. Don’t think for a second these waters are any safer than they were in 1973, because you may end up regretting it.
Photo Credit: marada / Flickr.com
Kahun Beach, West Maui, Hawaii
Grand Bahamas Island appears on our list because of a high density of sharks. Kahun Beach made the cut for a different, far more menacing reason: number of attacks. It’s reported that a staggering 40 species of shark reside in the waters off West Maui. Included in this population are the oft ornery tiger and nurse sharks. Since the 1800s, Kahun has seen 34 attacks, the most recent occurring in 2004, with fatal force. We should note the area’s high population density of approximately 1.3 million people. The raw number of attacks is probably correlated to the fact that there are many swimmers in the water at any one time, increasing the likelihood of a dangerous run-in.
Photo Credit: kentgoldman / Flickr.com
Bolinas Beach, California
Bolinas Beach lies at the center of the harrowing Red Triangle, so called because of the geometric form its boundaries make. Here, 38 percent of recorded great white attacks have reportedly occurred. While there have been no fatal incidents in Marin County (where Bolinas Beach is located), there have been 11 non-fatal attacks since 1926. That’s 11 too many for us to even think about taking a dip. A friendly note to all surfers and swimmers: if you see large numbers of seals, otters, and sea lions flapping around (as is the case in the waters of the Red Triangle), chances are there are some hungry pursuers not far away. The point is: sharks aren’t known for their species delineation abilities, so help them out and get out of the water if you find yourself shredding waves among known food sources. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.
Photo Credit: Marc_Smith / Flickr.com
Fish Hoek Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Every time we think about taking an extreme vacation, cage diving crosses our minds. To what part of the world does Google always take us as soon as we hit “enter” on our “cage diving vacation” query? Why, South Africa, of course. Long the home of some of the largest great whites in the world, Cape Town is the mecca of all the things a shark-loving tourist dreams about. Sorry, we’ll clarify. It’s the mecca of all the things a shark-loving tourist dreams about when they dream about being lowered just below the surface in a fully protective shark-proof steel cage. It’s really more of a nightmare without that, because these waters are home to the second largest number of shark attacks in the world (the ISAF reports 45 from 2000-2011). Those who do choose to free swim should always pay attention to warning flags flown on beaches where sharks have recently been spotted.
Photo Credit: over_kind_man / Flickr.com
New South Wales, Australia
We’re not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing that tour guides in New South Wales guarantee shark sightings to visiting tourists. Delivering on a promise is great and all (especially if you’re safely situated inside a boat) but if the thing you’re promising is coming in to contact with bull and great white sharks – some of the most dangerous beings on the planet – it’s probably worth reconsidering the lengths you’ll go through to prove your trustworthiness. On the 200-meter coastal strip of New South Wales, there have been 171 reported attacks, 55 of which have been fatal. “Very deep water close to shore compresses the habitat of coastal sharks and allows pelagic species like the great white shark to come close to shore,” says Marie Levine of the Shark Research Institute. Adrenalists need to take special precautions here. In case you need more proof you need to watch your back when venturing into these waters, the ISAF credits Australia with the largest number of shark attacks in the world (141 from 2000-2011, according to the ISAF).
If you’re an adventure seeker and are looking for the most popular shark infested beaches, then hold onto your life-rafts because here they are.
If you’re not so much an adventure seeker, but like taking the sun and having a dip in your hotel swimming pool instead of the rough seas, then this read is for you too!
Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida
This beach accounts for up to 59%of all shark attacks in the United States, making it one of the deadliest.
In 2008 alone, there were 23 shark attacks on this beach.
Luckily, 2008 is long gone!
If you’re not a shark fan or just traveling with the little ones and searching for a different type of fun, check out these Florida family activities!
(photo by: hermanusbackpackers)
Second Beach, Port St. Johns, South Africa
Cage diving with white sharks is one of the most popular attractions of the area and draws thousands of visitors to South Africa from far and wide.
This is a risky undertaking that involves drawing sharks to bloody carcasses and teaches them (sharks) to associate humans with food!
The thrill is worth it!
Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach, California
With a record 142 recorded attacks since 1990, California ranks second in the US when it comes to shark attacks.
This is mainly because sharks choose to give birth in this region, making them more fierce to any form of human intrusion.
Mama sharks mean well to protect their young, but you may want to steer clear of the waters during birthing season and try some other of California’s best beaches!
Makena Beach, Maui
This beach has relatively low fatal attacks.
However, it is the nature of the encounters that makes it noteworthy.
These attacks are fueled by the presence of tiger sharks which feed on turtles that are found close to the shores.
Be sure not to wear turtle-green bathing suits, or turtlenecks and you may be in the clear.
Hawaii’s full of stunning things to see – take a look here to find sights you never knew existed in stunning Hawaii sights you never knew existed.
With eighteen fatal attacks recorded since 1992, this beach was so notorious that beach activities were banned along its 35 mile coastline.
The latest attack occurred in 1996, shortly after the ban was lifted.
There are other glorious beaches not to mention attractions just close by, so this may just be a sightseeing stop along the way.
Surf beach, Vandenberg, California
White sharks normally feed on mammals once they grow to around ten feet in length.
At that age, they migrate northwards where they feed on the numerous sea lions, which this beach has in plenty.
Talk to local experts before hopping on your board.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
With up to 238 attacks to date, this beach has more recorded shark attacks than any other region in the world.
Despite these high numbers, New Smyrna beach has never witnessed a fatality as most attacks only result in minor injuries.
Phew! At least you can get your toes wet before heading in for lunch!
Garden Island, Australia
Even though Western Australia ranks third in the country for the number of shark attacks, the concentration of sharks around Garden Island beach is unusually high.
Luckily so are the number of beaches in the area which don’t feature sharks!
For more info, check out our post on Australia Beach & Safety Tips.
Anti-Shark Systems for Surfers Surfers are an easy target for sharks, especially in Australia, South Africa and California.
Fortunately, there are effective electronic devices that repel sharks by sending electrical pulses designed to keep deadly predators away from wave riders.
These anti-shark surf gadgets are detected by its sensory receptors, known as Ampullae of Lorenzini, causing mild-to-intolerable discomfort in the predator.
The shark deterrent system may save your life in shark infested waters. You can use the electronic shark defenses in your surf leash or in the tail of your surfboard.
Buy an anti-shark system for surfers.
The Great White Shark
The Tiger Shark
The Bull Shark