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SHARK WEEK: What’s More Dangerous than a Shark?

What could be more scary than a shark? Well, even during SHARK WEEK, pretty much anything.

Sharks kill about five people a year worldwide. The Global Shark Attack File chronicles 4,374 attacks since 1845. (They range from that first report, out of Sri Lanka, “Shark bit him in half, carrying away the lower extremities” to the trivial July 24 incident in Spain where some guy cut his foot.)

Sharks are sexier but not deadlier than:

  • The water the shark is in is thousands of times more likely to kill you than the fish. In 2006 3,600 Americans drowned. Every year 260 toddlers drown in pools.
  • Guns–just the accidental discharges–killed 642 in 2006, according to the CDC.
  • 25 kids a year still suffocate in plastic bags, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.
  • Upholstered furniture takes out 460 Americans annually (because it catches on fire.)
  • Extension cords kill 50 people a year in the United States (again, through fire.)


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