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Sharks – a Hollywood fad or foe?

Sharks – a Hollywood fad or foe?

Written by Melanie Hwa, 22 March 2023.

One of the most common fears that we often hear from divers are the fear of Sharks – but are they really dangerous to humans? Or are they the most wrongfully accused, ill-portrayed character in the history of Hollywood films?

Most sharks are not dangerous to humans — humans are not part of their natural diet. Despite their scary reputation, sharks rarely ever attack humans and would much rather feed on fish and marine mammals. Only about a dozen of the more than 300 species of sharks have been involved in attacks on humans and of the little amount of attacks seen, very little fatality was recorded.

These sharks here are rated the 7 most aggressive sharks in the world:Image by

And by aggressive it usually means they generally exude a more territorial and/or curious behaviour towards unknown things (aka humans, in this case). Any living creatures generally attack for two reasons:

1. Territorial/ Protective
I often ask my divers this question – Imagine walking down the street. Would you randomly throw a punch at someone? Or would it be more likely if someone punches you first, and then you return that punch? – same with sharks and any creatures. They would attack if they feel threatened or if their “house” is being trespassed.

2. Curiosity
Sharks are smart intelligent creatures. Often times they are curious about their surroundings and the only way they are able to satisfy that curiosity through their mouths as that is their main sensory organ. This is often why shark attacks are not often fatal as they would take a bite and move on (cause we are not part of their food chain! We probably taste yucky to them!)

We’ve also done a quick search on the internet on the deadliest animals in the world according to the total annual number of human deaths and guess what? Sharks are not even on the list!

Data by

So the next time you see a shark, don’t freak out! Should you treat it like a pet – no of course not! Learn to maintain your distance and respect for this magnificent creature. Should you demonise it and be afraid of it – definitely not! Sharks are generally not dangerous to humans and they are really amazing to watch and interact with (with proper training and guidance!)

Here’s a picture we took of our diver Darren Lee with a pregnant grey reef shark back in our trip to Sipadan! Oh – so if you are keen on swimming with sharks, be sure to check out our trips to Sipadan in September!

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