Sharks have been biting a lot of people off the coast of North Carolina lately. But you’re still more likely to have a close encounter with Jaws around Florida, historically speaking.
At least seven people have been bitten by sharks around North and South Carolina this year, some losing limbs. The attacks have drawn national media attention, at least partly because the rate of shark attacks has been unusually high for those waters.
The chart below — put together by the research company FindTheBest, using data from the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History — shows that there were just 52 shark attacks in North Carolina waters between 1837 and 2014. That averages out to just one attack every three years, roughly.
Florida, in comparison, has averaged four shark attacks per year in that stretch. If you want to reduce your risk of shark attack dramatically, maybe try swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, or the icy waters off Washington state, Maine or Connecticut. Or, you know, stay on the beach.
Happy Shark Week!