Although you’re more likely to get killed by lightning (or even cows who kill about 20 people yearly), the fear of death by a shark attack is universal. Fear of the most aggressive sharks in the world became universal after films like Jaws and The Meg became pop culture hits.
But the subject can be looked at as… Is the glass half-full or half-empty? On the one hand, Sharks have only killed an American once every 1.7 years. On the other: There are around 500 species of sharks, with more being discovered, but only a small portion of those are seen as highly aggressive. With that in mind here are 7 of the most aggressive shark species in the world.
Great White Shark
Great white sharks are the most aggressive sharks in the world has recorded 333 attacks on humans, with 52 of them being fatal.
The inclusion of this particular species probably comes as no surprise since movies, particularly Jaws, and television shows are quick to show their aggression. And they would be partly right. Worldwide, the Great White is responsible for about ⅓ to ½ of the 100-plus shark attacks per year making them the number one of their species that do so. Although almost all of those are not fatal, it’s still a sobering statistic.
The fact is, when a great white shark spots a swimmer or surfer from below, they may not be able to differentiate them from their favorite meal: seals.
Human beings aren’t what White Sharks normally stalk. They are carnivores though, able to swim up to around 25 mph, and eat mostly:
- Sea turtles
- Sea lions
The largest Great Whites are around 20-feet long and weigh between 1,500 and 4,000 pounds. The largest ever recorded great white is estimated to weigh 5,000 pounds!
A tiger shark gets its name from the dark stripes on its body when it’s younger than fade with maturity. Their size range is from 10-14 feet with females being larger than males. Large female tiger sharks can weigh 2,000+ pounds.
It is second in line, behind the great white, in recorded human fatalities having attacked 131 humans which includes 34 fatalities.
Tiger sharks feed mostly at night, close to shore, and eat the most varied range of prey of all sharks including:
- Sea snakes
They could be called an ocean trash can in that tiger sharks eat almost anything, living or not. The tiger shark’s teeth are unusually serrated and most are pointed in different directions. This weapon gives it the upper hand with prey since it can easily slice through shells and bones. Like most sharks, their rows of teeth are replaced throughout its life.
In the United States, bull sharks are found off the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re extremely aggressive and can also be found in freshwater which has given them more access to humans.