On Sunday, The Discovery Channel's Shark Week is set to begin another much-anticipated season, which will include a week-long series of feature TV programs devoted completely to sharks. Designed to help Americans gain a greater appreciation of, and respect for, sharks, Shark Week has developed an avid following and dedicated fan base of the years since it first premiered, and now represents one of the most highly anticipated science television events of the year.
This year's Shark Week features an exciting range of programs and will not to disappoint. (For a complete schedule of Shark Week 2012 programs and events, see here.)
As is the case every year, many Americans will tune into this year's Shark Week wondering about the prevalence and deadliness of shark attacks. Although human death from shark attacks is unusual, there are approximately 100 shark attacks reported annually around the world, and in recent years, attacks seem to be on the rise. In 2011, there were 17 deaths as a result of shark attacks (and 118 total). The fear of shark attacks remains high, however, in part due to the popular horror film Jaws, which propagated the myth that shark attacks can occur at any moment in the ocean.
Australia is ranking highest in the world in terms of shark fatalities (217), but the United States has the most total attacks (in part due to the thriving Great White shark population in popular surfing destinations like California).
In honor of shark week 2012, here are 5 shark attack videos (courtesy of the Discovery Channel). For more, see the Discovery Channel's in-depth coverage here):
1) Key Largo
2) South America
3) Double Great White Attack
4) Bull Shark Bite
5) Shark Cage Break In