We like to think we’re at the top of the food chain, and on land that might be the case. However, there’s only one real alpha predator of the sea, and that’s a shark. Most of the over 400 species of sharks are no danger to humans, but there are a few that strike fear in the hearts of swimming smorgasbords like us humans. Make sure your chums (get it?!) at Last Call trivia night sink their teeth into the following facts about some of these deadliest sharks. There’s a lot we can learn from the following four man-eating, menacing, and sometimes misunderstood creatures of the sea that are always swimming in the back of our minds when we dip our toes in the ocean.
The Oceanic Whitetip – Referred by Jacques Cousteau as “the most dangerous of all sharks”, these sharks inhabit tropical and warm temperate seas and reach a maximum length of 12-13 feet. Slow moving but extremely aggressive, the Oceanic Whitetip’s official shark attack numbers are relatively small. However, it is widely believed that this shark is responsible for more deaths than all other sharks combined due to their feeding on downed aircraft and ships during World War 2. This is the shark that famously fed on the crew of the USS Indianapolis.
The Tiger Shark– The garbage can of the sea, this shark is known to eat anything (including people). Reaching lengths of 16 feet or more, these sharks have a wider mouth and thicker skin proportionally than other sharks, with sharp, serrated teeth. They dwell in coastal tropical and subtropical waters, and account for the second most fatalities of all sharks.
The Bull Shark– This shark might not have the rep of other man-eaters, but it’s no joke. Many consider the shark the most dangerous, because it attacks in relatively shallow water. Another reason to fear the Bull Shark is its ability to thrive in fresh water. This particular shark has been spotted thousands of miles upstream in rivers. And even in lakes around the world. Getting its name from a blunt snout and stocky build (usually around 11-12 feet in length), this shark accounts for more attacks than any other shark species, save for the last name on the list.
The Great White Shark– Public enemy number one. The shark that scares us the most actually has more to fear from us than we from it. As a protected species with numbers that are finally rebounding from excessive fishing, Great Whites aren’t actually that keen on intentionally attacking humans (we’re a bit scrawny), most encounters are mistaken identity or curiosity. However, when these sharks (which can reach 25 feet in length) curiously speed up to 35 mph in your direction, mistaken identity can mean loss of limbs or life. Great Whites account for the most attacks, deaths, and probably soiled swimsuits of any shark. And that’s even without the menacing Jaws theme playing in your head right now!