Sharks – The Most Misunderstood of the Sea

Sharks – The Most Misunderstood of the Sea

What is one of the scariest things you could encounter on a swim in the ocean? How about sharks !

But, maybe they are only misunderstood…hmmm..

Shark Attacks – How common are they?

According to International Shark Attack File (ISAF) in 2018, there were only 66 confirmed, unprovoked shark attacks worldwide. When you think about how many people there are in the oceans every year all over the world, that number is quite small. There are numerous shark dives available to tourists in different parts of the world, offering a first-hand look at their true behavior.

Just because they are my favorite: Whale Sharks have become a well-known shark species – almost as well-known as the Great White. A Whale Shark can grow up to 40 feet long and weigh 40,000 lbs! Despite their intimidating size, they are completely harmless filter feeders. These are one of my favorite creatures, so beautiful and amazing to watch.

There are several places in the world to dive with Whale Sharks. (This is one of the top items on my bucket list to do – I will surely post photos and let you in on every detail when I do!) There is Mexico, California, Belize, Philippines, Australia, and more! Certain times of the year are best for diving in certain areas, so if it is something you are interested in, make sure you do your homework and research when to go and where.

Close Encounters

If you’ve ever been in the ocean, chances are you have been closer to a shark than you realized. Being on the fishing piers you get a better view of the water and can spot them much more easily when the water is clear. I have seen sharks swimming within yards of swimmers that had absolutely no idea they were there.

They typically just swim right by and don’t tend to bother anyone. You would never know they were there at all.

Tips on ocean swimming:

Even though sharks are not nearly as dangerous as they have been made out to be by movies like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea, there are still some things you can do and precautions to take in order not to draw attention to yourself if you do happen to spot a shark nearby while in the water.

  • Don’t wear brightly colored or flashy swimwear – When you have a shiny or bright swimming suit on, the sun can hit it and reflect, which may give off the appearance of a fish “flashing.”
  • Avoid swimming during the early morning and late evening hours while the sun is rising or setting. The visibility in the water is lower at these times of day. Evening and night is when sharks are more actively feeding.
  • Don’t splash. If you find you have floated out a little further than you meant to and spot a shark, the worst thing you can do is to panic. A panicked and splashing swimmer is more likely to attract the shark than get away from it.
  • Stay calm. Calmly swim to shore or to the nearest object that would allow you safety.

Stay Safe

As long as you are smart and respect the wildlife in the ocean you will be able to enjoy it safely. Pay attention to the flags on the beach and follow the tips above you will have very little to worry about. If you do decide to go on a shark dive, please do so with a professional. I do not recommend following or harassing a shark you see swimming near you.

Have questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you so just leave your message below!

Thank you for reading,

Jordyn Murphy

Founder of justbeachlife.com

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