It’s still Shark Week, and we’re still crazy for sharks. Let’s be clear, though, sharks are awesome, and many of the species in this list are endangered, and this is a huge tragedy. Sharks rarely attack humans on purpose as we are generally considered to be “too bony” for their tastes. With that said, here is a list of the 10 most dangerous sharks.
10. Blue Shark
13 Attacks, 4 Fatal
The blue shark, Prionace glauca, is a carcharhinid shark which inhabits deep waters in the world’s temperate and tropical oceans. Preferring cooler waters, blue sharks migrate long distances, for example from New England to South America. Although generally lethargic, they can move very quickly. Blue sharks are viviparous and are noted for large litters of 25 to over 100 pups. They feed primarily on small fish and squid, although they can take larger prey. Blue sharks often school segregated by sex and size, and this behavior has led to their nickname “wolves of the sea”.
9. Spinner Shark
16 Attacks, 0 Fatal
The spinner shark (Carcharhinus brevipinna) is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae, named for the spinning leaps it makes as a part of its feeding strategy. This species occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, except for in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found from coastal to offshore habitats to a depth of 100 m (330 ft), though it prefers shallow water. The spinner shark resembles a larger version of the blacktip shark (C. limbatus), with a slender body, long snout, and black-marked fins.
8. Hammerhead Shark
16 Attacks, 0 Fatal
The hammerhead sharks are a group of sharks in the family Sphyrnidae, so named for the unusual and distinctive structure of their heads, which are flattened and laterally extended into a “hammer” shape called a “cephalofoil”. Most hammerhead species are placed in the genus Sphyrna; some authorities place the winghead shark in its own genus, Eusphyra. Many, not necessarily mutually exclusive, functions have been proposed for the cephalofoil, including sensory reception, maneuvering, and prey manipulation. Hammerheads are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. Unlike most sharks, hammerheads usually swim in schools. Some of these schools can be found near the Cocos Islands by Costa Rica.
7. Copper Shark
17 Attacks, 0 Fatal
The copper shark, bronze whaler, or narrowtooth shark (Carcharhinus brachyurus) is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae, and the only member of its genus found mostly at temperate latitudes. It is distributed in a number of separate populations in the northeastern and southwestern Atlantic, off southern Africa, in the northwestern and eastern Pacific, and around Australia and New Zealand, with scattered reports from equatorial regions. This species can be found from brackish rivers and estuaries, to shallow bays and harbors, to offshore waters 100 m (330 ft) deep or more. Females are found apart from males for most of the year, and conduct seasonal migrations. A large species reaching 3.3 m (11 ft) long, the copper shark is difficult to distinguish from other large requiem sharks. It is characterized by its narrow, hook-shaped upper teeth, lack of a prominent ridge between the dorsal fins, and plain bronze coloration.
6. Blacktip Shark
28 Attacks, 1 Fatal
The blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae. It is common to coastal tropical and subtropical waters around the world, including brackish habitats. Genetic analyses have revealed substantial variation within this species, with populations from the western Atlantic Ocean isolated and distinct from those in the rest of its range. The blacktip shark has a stout, fusiform body with a pointed snout, long gill slits, and no ridge between the dorsal fins. Most individuals have black tips or edges on the pectoral, dorsal, pelvic, and caudal fins. It usually attains a length of 1.5 m (4.9 ft).
5. Sand Tiger Shark
32 Attacks, 3 Fatal
The grey nurse shark (Australia), spotted ragged-tooth shark (Africa) or sand tiger shark (US and UK), Carcharias taurus, is a large shark inhabiting coastal waters worldwide, with many different names in different countries in the world. Despite a fearsome appearance and strong swimming abilities, it is a relatively placid and slow moving animal. It is considered not aggressive unless provoked. It is considered the most widely kept shark in public aquariums around the world, due to its fairly large size, its higher adaptability to captivity than other large shark and its crooked, fierce-looking teeth.
4. Requiem Shark
39 Attacks, 7 Fatal
Requiem sharks are a family, Carcharhinidae, of sharks in the order Carcharhiniformes, containing migratory, live-bearing sharks of warm seas (sometimes of brackish or fresh water) such as the tiger shark, the blue shark, the bull shark, and the milk shark. The name comes from the French word for shark, “requin”.
3. Bull Shark
82 Attacks, 25 Fatal
The bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, also known as Zambezi shark or unofficially known as Zambi in Africa and Nicaragua shark in Nicaragua, is a shark common worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers. The bull shark is well known for its unpredictable, often aggressive behavior. Since bull sharks often dwell in shallow waters, they may be more dangerous to humans than any other species of shark, and, along with tiger sharks and great white sharks, are among the three shark species most likely to attack humans.
2. Tiger Shark
88 Attacks, 27 Fatal
The tiger shark is a predator, known for eating a wide range of animals. Its usual diet consists of fish, seals, birds, smaller sharks, squid, turtles, and dolphins. Tigers have been found with man-made waste such as license plates or pieces of old tires in their digestive tracts, thus the moniker, “the wastebasket of the sea”.
1. Great White Shark
244 Attacks, 65 Fatal
The great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, also known as great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a large lamniform shark found in coastal surface waters in all major oceans. The great white shark is very well known for its size, with the largest individuals known to have approached or exceeded 6 meters (20 ft) in length and 2,268 kilograms (5,000 lb) in weight. It reaches maturity at around 15 years of age and can have a life span of over 30 years. The great white shark is arguably the world’s largest known extant macropredatory fish and is one of the primary predators of marine mammals. It is also known to prey upon a variety of other marine animals including fish, pinnipeds, and seabirds. It is the only surviving species of its genus, Carcharodon.