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Humans aren’t the natural food of sharks, simply because the water isn’t the natural home of humans. On the contrary, water is deadly to people, so it has to be navigated carefully, by swimming or diving, and either activity can trigger impulses in the shark’s brain, making it curious. In the vast, vast majority of cases sharks investigate by swimming by, taking a look, and rejecting outright the food potential. This is more often the case with SCUBA divers, who don’t kick up a fuss beyond the bubbles from the tanks, which the sharks don’t particularly like anyway.
Swimmers, on the other hand, splash about, pee in the water, yell and generally make a whole lot of noise, which interests the shark prompting yet another investigation. Under the water, looking up, swimmers, especially surfers and body boarders, often resemble seals, the natural prey of sharks, particularly Great Whites, and add to that the splashing and carrying on, the shark may consider the playing human a food source. When that happens a battle is about to ensue between the unsuspecting swimmer and the confident, practiced shark. In most cases the human loses to the shark, which, after a couple of bites often moves away, realizing this was no seal. Unfortunately for the human just one bite could mean a massive loss of tissue and blood, and death almost certainly follows.
Shark ‘attacks’ are rare, very rare, although they get a lot of press attention when they happen. In point of fact when there are people in the water, where sharks live, such events are inevitable. Most incidents occur at bathing beaches where there are hundreds and hundreds of people splashing about in the water, at about knee depth.
(Newser) A swimmer was killed by what witnesses say was a “huge” shark in a rare ‘attack’ in New Zealand today. Police in inflatable boats shot at and hit the shark, which is believed to have been a great white around 14 feet long, but they say it swam away afterward, the New Zealand Herald reports. A fisherman says he saw the shark attack the man when he was about 650 feet off the popular Muriwai beach near Auckland.
“All of a sudden there was blood everywhere,” says the fisherman, who saw the shark swim off after a struggle with the man before returning for a second attack, which attracted several more sharks. “I yelled at him to swim to the rocks. There was blood everywhere. The water was red. It’s pretty scary,” he says. Great whites are often seen in New Zealand waters at this time of year, but there have been just 15 fatal attacks recorded since records began in 1837, with the last confirmed one in 1976, reports TVNZ.
You can take some precautions while in the water. First don’t urinate, as sharks can smell urine up to a mile away, and certainly don’t enter the water if you’re bleeding, as that will also draw sharks from a long way away. Avoid unnecessary splashing as all that racket you’re making will draw curious, unwanted visitors. Finally, never ignore official warnings of sharks in the vicinity.