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Sharks That Attack Humans

Sharks That Attack Humans

There are 3 major species of sharks that attack humans out of the approximately 375 species around the world.

These are 3 of the most aggressive species and one them is among the largest sharks. The great white is the most famous as it was the shark in the famous movie Jaws. Tiger sharks have also been known to attack humans. Finally the bull shark’s favor of shallow water means that it is probably been the cause of more human attacks than other species. Bull sharks have also been known to travel thousands or miles up freshwater rivers. Although there have been few reports of human interactions in fresh water.

  • Great White Shark

The Great White shark is undoubtedly the most famous of all shark species with a number of movies created about this beast of the deep. The 1970’s hit film Jaws brought the ferocious creatures to the big screen in a way they had not been seen before. This ferocity and aggression even though sensationalized in the movie did show the public the power and devastation that can be caused by these predators of the deep. The great white shark has a very high strike rate of 3-5 out of every 10 attacks on humans being a great white.

They are also the largest predatory fish on earth and can grow up to 6m in length and weigh over 2200kgs. They are also extremely fast and can reach speeds of up to 24 km/h. They use 3 different senses to find their prey, the first one is their sense of smell that they can use to detect very small amount of blood in the water up to 5km away. The second is vision, they have a very large set of eyes that they use to visually inspect their prey before they attack. Finally they have organs in their nose that allows them to detect the electrical impulses created by fish around them to help them locate their prey and find weak or injured fish.

Great white shark attacking bait

Tigers sharks grow up to 6m long and 900kgs, the second largest shark, behind the great white, that is known to attack humans. They are beaten in numbers of human attacks only by the Great White.  They are known as “man eaters” due to the fact that they will not swim away after an attack like a great white will. The great white will generally release a human after the initial attack as they are used to large soft bodied seals and are not used to the hard bones of humans. In contrast to the Tiger that will continue to attack a human as it has a more diverse eating habits and is not put off by the hard bones of humans.

The stripes that give the Tiger shark its name are strongest when they are young and gradually fade with age. They are fished heavily and due to their slow reproduction rate the species is threatened in most areas.


The Bull Shark is the smallest in this list only growing to a size of around 4m and 250kgs. They make up for this smaller size in their aggression and how common they are in tropical and built up areas. They are also known to travel up rivers into brackish and fresh water. This means that human interactions with these sharks are more common due to how closely they approach. Because of this they are considered one of the most dangerous for human attacks. They primarily go for smaller prey such as fish, dolphins and other small marine animals but due to where they usually hunt they come in contact with humans more than most species.


About The Author

Steph Copeland

I am a marine expert that has a passion for sharks and the preservation of the oceans. I would like to help people feel safe in the water so that they don’t fear sharks.