Shark attacks are a universal fear despite being less deadly than lightning strikes or cows; however, only a small portion of the 500 known shark species are considered highly aggressive, and this article highlights the top 7.
Shortfin makos have a menacing appearance and powerful bite, but have only been responsible for nine recorded shark attacks on humans, including one fatality.
Shortfin Mako Shark
Great hammerheads, the largest of the hammerhead shark species, with a diet of stingrays, bony fish, and other sharks, and rarely attacking humans, can reach over 20 feet in length and weigh over 500 pounds.
Great Hammerhead Shark
Sand tiger sharks are unique hunters that collect air in their stomach to become buoyant and sit still, detect prey through electroreceptors, and feed on small fish, crustaceans, and squid; they have attacked 36 humans with no fatalities.
Blacktip sharks are found in shallow and clear waters around the world, with black-tipped fins, a diet that includes bony fish and squid, and have been involved in 41 non-fatal human attacks.
Bull sharks, with their aggressive nature and formidable bite force, have attacked 117 humans resulting in 25 fatalities, and are found in the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico waters, where their ability to swim in freshwater gives them access to humans.
Tiger sharks, which can grow up to 14 feet long and weigh over 2,000 pounds, have attacked 138 humans with 36 fatalities, feed mostly at night near the shore, and have a varied diet that includes fish, turtles, and even garbage.
Great white sharks, responsible for about ⅓ to ½ of the 100-plus shark attacks per year, have a varied diet that includes sea lions, porpoises, and dolphins, among others, and can weigh up to 5,000 pounds.
Great White Shark