Last weekend, three fishermen in the Bahamas got more than they bargained for when they reeled in a 12-foot long tiger shark along the Exuma archipelago. At first glance, it seemed like just another catch, but later, when they cut it open, they made the grim discovery of two human arms and two legs, plus a torso in the shark’s stomach. The fisherman say that they believed the remains were that of a man, although there were no distinguishing features to be seen.
At this time, the identify of the victim is still unknown, and DNA tests are being conducted. Bahamian police say they’re also working to determine if the man was alive or dead when he was eaten, as tiger sharks seldom attack humans while they are alive. They also confirmed that two people have been reported missing in the region lately, although they haven’t ruled out the possibility of a local sailor having their boat capsize while attempting to make the arduous journey to Florida.
Shark experts say that while the tiger shark isn’t overly aggressive, they have been known to attack humans on rare occasions, and when they do, those attacks are seldom fatal. As you can imagine, officials in the Bahamas are also quick to downplay the attack and are reminding visitors to the islands that their warm, tropical waters are completely safe.
Just in case though, you may want to stick to the pool for awhile.
[Photo credit: Albert Kok]
Come shop in the mall recently built in the shadow of the Dubai Burj, the world’s tallest building. You will enjoy over 1,200 of the world’s finest shops and a huge, glittery gold market…and see a 10-million liter aquarium in which divers and small fish are ravaged by gigantic sharks.
The aggressive sharks are part of a 33,000 specimen tank at the 12-million-square-foot Dubai Burj Mall. The tank includes an acrylic tunnel that people can walk through and gaze up at the aquatic life. The mall’s grand opening was marred when the large sand sharks attacked and killed nearly 40 smaller sharks. I doubt that the mall’s goal was to remind people of the casual brutality of nature before they began browsing through the world’s largest gold market. I’m sure the goal was spectacle, but naturally aggressive sand sharks do not mix well with other sharks in a closed environment. Divers performing maintenance on the interior of the tank have also been attacked, though no fatalities have been reported.
Despite whatever fears you may still harbor thanks to Jaws, Jaws – The Revenge, Jaws 2, or Jaws 3-D, chances are, you won’t be attacked by a shark during while on vacation.
This past year sharks killed only 4 people and bit 58 others around the world. According to George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, “The reality is, as a biologist, this is a non-problem. It’s a minor, minor thing.”
While no matter where you travel, shark attacks are highly unlikely, arguably your worst bet is Florida, which accounted for two-thirds of the 38 sharkbites in the United States. However, this is probably only due to the year-round swimming weather, and the subsequently high-number of people that use these waters for recreation. The four shark-related deaths were in the waters off Australia, Brazil, Reunion Island (in the Indian Ocean) and Tonga (in the South Pacific).
The research didn’t include what they considered to be provoked attacks — such as when fishermen catch sharks. But if you’re provoking a shark, you’re pretty much asking for it — right?