Shark Attacks

Shark Attacks

2005, Nature  -   17 Comments
Ratings: 7.69/10 from 81 users.

We're often confronted by reports of vicious shark attacks, deepening a long-held fear of one of the most tenacious species in the history of our planet. But to what degree are sharks truly a danger to humans? The Naked Science documentary series goes fishing for answers in Shark Attacks. While definitive conclusions remain somewhat elusive, viewers are treated to a fascinating overview of the eating habits and predatory practices of these misunderstood creatures of the deep.

"There are more than 400 living kinds of sharks in the world," reports California Academy of Sciences ichthyologist John McCosker early in the film. "Thirty of those have been involved in unprovoked attacks on human beings. Actually, only about 7% of attacks result in fatalities." The standard mode of attack for sharks is to cripple prey once with a single bite, and then wait until their victim bleeds out and dies before consuming them. Except on rare occasions, this routine does not seem to apply to humans. Sharks don't typically regard humans as a source of food, and don't appear to have any interest in eating us.

The film explores the three types of sharks who are most commonly associated with attacks on humans: tiger sharks, bull sharks and, the most prominent and fearsome of all, the Great White.

One of the most famous examples of a shark attack involved professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, whose story is featured in the documentary. She lost her left arm to a tiger shark in 2003, but her attacker seemed to have little interest in returning to her once this wound was inflicted. As communicated in the film, tiger sharks are known as the garbage disposal of the ocean, as they will consume nearly any object they come in contact with. This indiscriminate feeding frenzy may help to explain what instigated Hamilton's attack, but investigators cannot be certain.

Why are incidents of shark attacks on humans increasing with every passing decade? At this point, researchers can only speculate as to the reasons. The most likely explanation may be a simple matter of odds; more people are swimming in waters that are populated by the predatory beasts. There is still much we have to learn about sharks, and their mysteries are as vast and as deep as the oceans that shelter them.

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4 years ago

If someone breaks into a house, we understand if the owner use a gun in self defense. If someone breaks into a house where there is a guard dog, we understand if the dog attacks the intruder. If poachers gets attacked/killed by the animal they are trying to kill, we understand and say it's karma. So why is the thought of sharks defending or attacking intruders in their territory so hard to understand? The oceans are the shark's home. Respect it!

Bruce Donoaldson
6 years ago

There is a scientific study that was conducted by Marine biologist Conan Doyle proving that some species of sharks including the great white have a type of testosterone in their system making them prone to attack humans because of their vulnerability. although one could argue that this is the humans fault, it is also just as much the sharks for mistaking the humans for their typical prey.

6 years ago

whats with the rope at 41:31 on the right and 41:33 on the left ?

7 years ago

Can anyone tell me who is the director please?

8 years ago

oops! Not a smart as i used to be.

8 years ago

it's tough out there and we should except that because we are part of the same world. Nothing more to it!

8 years ago

Once again, Shark Week is here and will no doubt commence to spread terror and hatred of sharks. Already the comments on Facebook are calling for the extermination of these remarkable creatures. When will humans understand that when they enter the water they are now in the sharks' world? Sensationalism over reality once again.

The increase of attacks is no mystery. Humans have only to look to themselves for the reasons.