The Top 5 Countries with the Most Shark Attacks

  Country Total number of Attacks Number of Fatal Attacks Last Fatal Attack
1 United States
(including Hawaii)
1999 47 2013
2 Australia 358 202 2013
3 South Africa 213 53 2013
4 Brazil 91 25 2013
5 Papua New Guinea 49 24 2000
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  1. Your odds of being attacked by a shark in the United States are 1 in 11.5 million.
  2. More than 90% attacks have occurred on males. According to George H. Burgess of the International Shark Attack File, this reflects a historic pattern of more males engaged in marine aquatic activities.
  3. The most common form of shark attack are "hit and run" attacks. This type of attack typically occurs in the surf zone with swimmers and surfers being the normal targets. However "Bump and bite" attacks and "sneak" attacks, while less common, result in greater injuries and the most human fatalities.
  4. Almost any large shark, roughly two meters or longer in total length, is a potential threat to humans. Three species, however, have been repetitively implicated as the primary attackers of man: the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) and the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).
  5. Most shark attacks are a case of mistaken identity where the shark misinterprets a human for its normal prey.

Sources:  Florida Museum of Natural History, George H. Burgess, International Shark Attack File, Jan 2010.

List Notes: Data is from the years 1700 to 2008. Total number of Attacks are confirmed Unprovoked Shark attacks on humans.
Countries with the Most Shark Attacks

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