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Sharks

Are Selfies More Deadly than Sharks?

posted: 09/22/15
by: Danny Clemens
Relive one of our favorite Shark Week moments:

Could it be more dangerous to be Kim Kardashian than Andy Casagrande? Probably not -- but some interesting statistics beg to differ.

So far this year, Mashable counts 12 selfie-related deaths, the latest of which occurred when a 66-year-old tourist fell down the steps of the Taj Mahal as he attempted to snap a selfie.

Meanwhile, there have only been 8 reported shark-related fatalities in 2015. On average, only 6 people die each year following a shark encounter; choking, driving, bathing, and walking down the street are all more deadly than sharks, according to Buzzfeed.

Shark diver takes selfie
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Don't try this at home, folks.
abadonian/iStock

Despite years of rhetoric painting sharks as indiscriminate killing machines, experts say that most shark encounters are actually a case of mistaken identity -- not "a large monster intentionally and maliciously targeting humans."

That being said, common sense is still important. Keep in mind that you're a guest in the shark's habitat, not the other way around. Earlier this summer, marine biologist Ralph Collier shared some simple advice for staying safe around sharks:

"I would say to bathers: don't wear bright-colored bathing suits, especially those that have contrasting colors. Some sharks can see color. Don't wear jewelry. When you're in the ocean and the jewelry moves around, and the sun reflects off of it, it could be interpreted as a fish by some of these smaller sharks and they might come in thinking it's a fish in distress."

"And just use common sense. If sharks have been reported in an area, don't go in the water there. Common sense goes a long way with these animals. Never provoke a shark. So don't grab a tail. Don't try to feed them. Don't poke them with anything because you might elicit a response from them that you'll be sorry you got."

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