Most Dangerous & Aggressive Sharks
Sharks have quite a notorious reputation for being aggressive in shallow, warm waters.
Whether provoked or unprovoked, many are known for their attacks on humans. While it is important to be careful of ocean species when we are in their home, there are some sharks that are more dangerous than others, which humans should attempt to avoid at all costs.
Continue reading to find out more about some of the world's most dangerous sharks.
The Great White Shark
At 18,000 Newtons, the white shark has one of the most powerful bites known to man.
As for shark attacks, great whites are responsible for more than a third of shark attacks every year. If you ever see one, we recommend getting to land as fast as possible.
These apex predators do not mean to intentionally harm people, but the reason it occurs so frequently is because they have terrible eyesight and mistake us for other marine mammals such as seals.
The Tiger Shark
From South Africa to Cape Cod, the tiger shark can be found all around the globe. This large ocean predator sits between 13 feet and 16 feet long on average.
The tiger shark has quite a notorious history, as it is responsible for 129 unprovoked attacks on humans, almost 25% of which were fatal.
Next to Great Whites, the tiger shark is the next most dangerous to humans.
Tiger sharks are known to look for prey close to the shore at nighttime. This shark species has quite a unique palette, eating everything from fish to seals to birds to other sharks. Many documented events even show the tiger shark community feasting on trash, such as nails, tires, and license plates. Essentially, the tiger shark will eat just about anything. Visit our What Do Sharks Eat article to learn more!
The Bull Shark
The Bull Shark, sometimes referred to as the Lake Nicaragua Shark or the Zambezi Shark, is found in warm and shallow waters of Australasia, Central America, the African Atlantic, and India.
Bull sharks are quite unique, as they have the ability to survive for long stints in freshwater, which is why they are often seen traveling up rivers.
This astonishing fact leads many people to wonder, "are there sharks in the Great Lakes?".
On average, bull sharks sit anywhere between 7 and 11 feet and is known for having very territorial behavior.
The unprovoked bull shark attacks that took place on the Jersey Shore back in 1916 became the inspiration for the movie "Jaws."
Oceanic Whitetip Shark
While the oceanic whitetip shark is far less hostile than the top three dangerous sharks on this list, it still has 15 unprovoked attacks under its belt, three of which were fatal.
As legend has it, however, the oceanic whitetip shark swarmed hundreds of helpless sailors in the Pacific when the USS Indianapolis sank.
Oceanic whitetips spend a fair amount of time deep out at sea, which is why it isn't likely for them to go after everyday people.
Instead, they are known for attacking sailors in the deep blue.
Unfortunately, due to overfishing, the oceanic whitetip population has been in a steady decline for several years.
The Blacktip Shark is responsible for a recorded 45 unprovoked human attacks.
The only reason that people don't often identify them as the most dangerous shark around is that they are quite difficult to identity.
These sharks have pointed snouts, long gills, and a fusiform body. They will typically make spinning leaps out of the water when they hunt schools of fish.
You will often find the blacktip shark swimming in tropical and subtropical regions within shallow to medium-shallow waters.
Shortfin Mako Shark
The Shortfin Mako Shark, often referred to as the blue pointer or the bonito shark, isn't a species of shark responsible for several unprovoked attacks on humans, though they will often bite fishermen who get in their territory.
Shortfin Mako sharks, after Great Whites, have the highest boat attack rate. When hooked, they can do some pretty unspeakable damage.
Shortfin Makos can swim at up to 50 miles per hour, and some of the fastest have even been clocked at 60 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest fish in the ocean.
While the Hammerhead has only been confirmed for 15 unprovoked attacks on humans, they are often listed as some of the most threatening sharks due to their intimidating looks.
The average hammerhead shark will grow around 13 feet long and they tend to swim in shallow water, making them seem like a much bigger threat to beachgoers.
The unique thing about the Hammerhead is that they are known to hunt blacktip sharks in shallow water, which is why they are frequently spotted near the beach.
Sand Tiger Shark
The Sand Tiger Shark is quite a dangerous specimen with a recorded 35 unprovoked human attacks.
This species is said to frequent shallow water and can be incredibly frightening due to its protruding, razor-sharp teeth.
However, the Sand Tiger shark is not a particularly hostile shark by any means. Most of them only seem to ever attack humans if they feel threatened. On average, sand tiger sharks are said to grow up to eight feet long.
The Blue shark has only ever been implicated for 13 incidents of biting humans. Four of the attacks were fatal. These unique sharks are long-distance travelers, which roam across the North Atlantic for thousands of miles.
They can grow anywhere from six to ten feet and are found all across the globe in places that are cool and deep. While they are often sought out for their skin, which is used as leather, they are also used for shark fin soup.
Final Thoughts - Should I Be Afraid Of Shark Attacks?
Though this list of the most dangerous sharks on Earth might scare you from ever wanting to go swim in the ocean again, we should make it clear that you are far more likely to get struck by lightning than become the victim of a shark attack.
More often than not, a shark will mistake a human for a piece of prey, such as a seal. Usually, a confused shark will let go once they realize that the thing they're chomping down on doesn't taste quite right.
You might be surprised to find out that sharks are pretty far down on our most dangerous sea creature list!
There is plenty of information out there to help beachgoers avoid sharks altogether, including swimming with a group, not wandering too far from the shoreline, and not entering the water with an open wound.
In the end, it's best to just enjoy your time in the ocean without worrying, as there is far more to love about the underwater world than to be afraid of.