Sharks have literally been around the planet for millions of years.
They were also known as ferocious predators, but it wasn’t until Steven Speilberg popularised shark attacks (and terrorized an entire generation in the process. that we started looking at sharks in a whole different light.
There is a fallacy though as shark attacks are not as common as they are made out to be. You are more likely to be killed by cows, deer, bees, mosquitos, horses, hippos and dogs than by a shark. We won’t deny that shark attacks are terrifying and here is our pick of the scariest.
1. Barry Wilson
All of 17 years old, Barry is the first recorded victim in California to be killed by a shark.
While on a regular swim in the sea, his friends notice that he was pushed almost completely out of the water as the shark bit onto his legs. The shark did let go long enough for his friends to pull him and drag him to shore but it wasn’t enough to save him.
2. Dave Quinlivan
Imagine being on a leisurely ski paddle ride when you come head to head with a shark and fighting for dear life. That’s exactly what happened to Dave.
A Great White Shark got hold of his ankle and dragged him and his ski for several meters.
While the shark was readjusting its bite Dave managed to get his leg free and tried to swim away.
The shark then lost interest and swam away leaving Quinlivan to swim to the shore and look for medical attention from the closest lifeguard.
3. Rodney Fox
A spear fisherman Rodney was lucky enough to escape an attack from a shark. During a routine fishing trip, Rodney was dragged 30 feet underwater by a shark.
Knowing it was life or death, Rodney started to attack the shark, gouging its eyes and kicking it in its face. Running out of breath, Rodney swam to the surface followed by the shark.
When the shark came back for round two, it ended up biting the float Rodney was strapped too. He freed himself from the float and was rescued in the nick of time by a boat that was close by.
Fox has some serious scars from his attack and a great story to tell his students at Planet Shark where he now works.
4. Bethany Hamilton
Probably the most famous shark attack story on the list Bethany Hamilton is a pro-surfer and athlete.
She was just 13 years old when she was attacked by a shark on one of her surf trips. The shark managed to rip off an entire arm and Bethany says that it happens so quickly she didn’t even realize what had happened until her friends started screaming and she saw her blood in the water.
Even though her arm was bitten off she managed to survive and go on to become one of the most prominent female surfers on the planet. She wrote her ordeal in an autobiography called Soul Surfer which was also made into a Hollywood movie. Talk about being a badass.
5. Robert Pamperin
One of the rarest and most interesting facts about Robert Pamperin’s attack was that it is the only documented case in which the victim’s entire body was devoured whole by the shark.
A shark which was estimated to be more than 22 feet long dragged Pamperin into the depths of the ocean never to be seen again.
Although search operations were called into action all they could find of his belongings were an inner tune and a swimming fin. Scary!
6. Brooke Watson
One of the oldest shark attacks to be recorded Brooke Watson was only 14 years old when the incident happened.
Off the coast of Havana Harbour in Cuba, the shark bit into and tore off the flesh off Watson’s right calf. Not satisfied with the meal the shark turned back and bit off the entire foot below the ankle.
While the leg had to be amputated below the knee the boy survived to tell his tale. The incident was even recorded in the form of a painting.
7. Rob Howe
While the sharks are seen as the devils of the sea, Dolphins are regarded as angles and for good reason as Rob Howe found out.
While swimming with his daughters off the coast of New Zealand, Rob and his family found a school of Dolphins circling them. He enjoyed the sight till he noticed a silhouette of a shark and the trademark fin about the water.
Luckily for Rob, the dolphins kept circling them and protecting them from an impending attack. This behaviour is seen quite often in Dolphins where they swim in circles around their young to protect them. How many of his nine lives must Rob have exhausted that day?
8. Krishna Thompson
Celebrating a 10 year anniversary should have been all about fun, relaxation and joy, but it quickly turned into a nightmare for Krishna Thompson.
While vacationing in Bahamas Krishna decided to go for a quick dip into the ocean before his wife woke up. Although not too deep in the sea, he felt a sharp bite on his foot and turned around to be face to face with a great white shark.
Krishna kept repeatedly punching the shark in the nose (this is a very sensitive area for sharks, just some trivia if you are ever in the same situation. and the shark, fortunately, let go.
He was able to get to shore with some difficulty where passersby were able to get him to the hospital.
His leg had to be amputated but he could have lost a lot more than just his leg. Krishna now works as an ocean conservationist and helps young people get the facts right about sharks.
Have any of you ever had any encounters with sharks, or know anyone who has? We’d love to hear from you, let us know in the comments below or email us.