Are You Even Safe On Land?
Yes. Yes, of course you are. Land sharks don’t exist, but do you know what does? Water sharks. Water sharks exist. So that begs the question, are you safe in the water? Yes. Yes, of course you are, but to a lesser extent.
I am not going to beat around the bush, sharks are dangerous, and they can kill you. That being said, are they these blood thirsty creatures? Well, I could do some hypothesis testing, maybe some more statistics, and come to a conclusion, but I don’t need to. The data just doesn’t hold up to that claim. What I WILL do is teach you about them so you can lessen your chance of an encounter / attack. Although the risks are small, why do things that can increase those chances?
Tips To Avoid Sharks / Shark Attacks
1. Don’t Swim at Night
I feel like this kind of goes without saying. Swimming at night is dangerous. You can’t see the waves, and if caught in a riptide, you may not be able to see the shore. Also, people who go in the water at night are typically drunk. You usually don’t make good decisions when drunk so that sort of says something about night swimming. The list goes on with the dangers of swimming at night, but here’s the kicker. Sharks hunt at night. They are more active, and you can say even say they get a bit more feisty. Sharks will eat during the day, but they are not actively hunting. Long story short, don’t go in the water at night.
Danger Level: Bad idea. Bad, bad, idea.
Location: Any ocean
2. Don’t Swim in Murky Water
Just like swimming at night, you can’t see anything. Snorkeling is not enjoyable in murky water, so that’s just one more reason not to do it. You could say to yourself it doesn’t matter, but remember, you may not know that you are swimming right next to a tiger shark because you won’t be able to see it. Can you imagine putting your face in the water, and then all of a sudden you are nose to nose with 12′ shark?
Danger Level: Not life ending, but not a good idea either.
Location: Murky Water
3. Don’t Wear Yellow, Orange, or High Contrast Colors. Don’t Wear Jewelry Either.
Sharks can spot these types of colors very well. Also, jewelry reflects light and can mimic fish scales. When sharks aren’t hunting, I imagine they are pretty bored, so when something sticks out, they probably go and check it out. Does this mean it will lead to a shark attack? No, but you just attracted a very large flesh eating creature to your personal space.
Danger Level: Ehhh, but why risk it?
Location: Jewelry Store
4. Don’t Swim around Fishing Boats
Like really? The fisherman are literally snagging shark food. Sharks love erratic splashing, blood, and an easy meal. That spells disaster for the person swimming around the boat. Obviously, you won’t think to yourself, “Whooooa, that’s a cool boat! I am going to swim around it.” That said, here is a scenario where you could find yourself in this position. Say you go on a fishing boat, and they tell everybody to take a dip in the water. It is Maui, right? Well, don’t.
Danger Level: Yeah… It’s pretty high.
Location: Fishing Boats
5. Don’t Go Into Bloody Water
So everybody knows this one. It’s obvious, so most likely not that interesting. With all of that, here is why I am bringing it up. I never realized that women who are menstruating can attract sharks. Isn’t that crazy!? For all these years, it never crossed my mind. Not even once. So what do we take from this? Don’t swim next to women. Just be ready for the backlash of leaving her in the middle of the ocean.
Danger Level: Fend off a shark, or fend off your significant other? You decide.
Location: Next to Women
There is a lot of more information out there as to how to avoid sharks. For a more in depth guide, I would suggest reading National Geographic’s guide.
Now that I have scared you about being eaten, or experiencing a shark attack, check out these awesome lists that tell you what to do when planning to go into the water. The Best Snorkeling Spots On Maui, and the Top Maui Beaches!
One thing I would like to add is how important sharks are to our ecosystem. They are scary, but they are also helpful. Here is an article that explains the benefits of having sharks in our oceans. Shark Savers