Since Jaws first aired in theaters, sharks have gotten a bad rap. Such a bad rap that an eye-catching headline is one that proclaims selfies deadlier than sharks. The thing is, the headline is right. As far as dangers go, sharks are pretty far down the list. Plenty of things besides selfies are deadlier than sharks. Some of the more infamous things deadlier than sharks are below.
It should be noted that despite being deadlier than sharks, selfies don’t have a very high mortality rate either. Twelve people have died because of selfies this year, as opposed to a mere eight deaths from shark attacks. And most big animals don’t have high counts, even if they are deadlier than sharks. Bears and alligators will claim as many deaths in the U.S. this year as sharks do – one each. Snakes are deadlier, but not by much – they’ll get six, and that’s including other lizards in the count. Spiders? One more than that: seven deaths. Cows have a much deadlier than sharks count with an eye-popping twenty deaths. Dogs count for twenty-eight deaths, the most of any single animal. Other mammals combined (presumably cats and bunnies are in this category) cause 52 deaths. The animal kingdom “winner” are bees, wasps, and hornets, which at 58 deaths are deadlier than sharks by a factor of 50. (This is all by themselves, of course: if malaria-containing mosquitioes are included they would win with almost 800,000 deaths to their credit, but it’s malaria doing the killing, not the mosquitoes themselves.)
Of course, animals and insects aren’t the only things deadlier than sharks. In fact, there’s things that are deadlier than sharks and any other thing in the animalia category. Like falling coconuts, which kill 150 people a year. Or falling out of bed, which is responsible for around 600 deaths a year. Tripping and falling in general is deadlier than falling out of bed by a factor of ten; 6 thousand deaths a year are caused by tripping. Choking on lunch is the cause of death for 3 thousand people. And running a red light is deadlier than sharks by 200; 2 thousand people are killed this way every year. Acts of nature are also deadlier than sharks: lightning kills 24 thousand people a year, cold weather kills around 600, and tornadoes and hurricanes cause 104 deaths between them a year.
So take care. You’re more likely to be killed by a selfie than a shark, but you’re more likely to be killed by a cow than a selfie, and running a red light is deadlier than sharks by far.
[Image stock image via shutterstock]