As a scuba instructor I’m almost always asked three things.
1 – How deep have you gone?
2 – How long does your oxygen last?
3 – Have you ever seen a shark?
The answers are:
1 – 178 feet.
2 – You breathe air, not oxygen (explanation coming) and how long it lasts depends on a GREAT many things.
3 – Yes, lots of them.
The explanation of number two is follows. You are breathing mostly nitrogen (about 79%) with every breath. You only take in a little over 19% oxygen each time you fill your lungs.
Now back to sharks.
Once I answer question number three, the fourth question/statement comes rapid fire. “I don’t like sharks,” or “I’m scared of being eaten by a shark,” or even “I’ll never dive, sharks will kill me won't they?”
Just to set the record straight, there are a lot of sharks in the ocean. There are big, dangerous sharks like the Great White and the Bull. And there are smaller harmless sharks like Horns and Leopards.
But to prove the point we have compiled a list of things that kill more people every year than sharks do.
In 2011 12 people were killed in shark attacks worldwide, the biggest total in decades. The average number of deaths per year is five.
Compare that to the yearly worldwide death rate from:
Obesity – 30,000
Lightning – 10,000
Texting – 6,000
Hippos – 2,900
Autoerotic asphyxiation – 600
Falling out of bed (in the US) – 450
Deer – 130
Icicles – 100 (and that’s just in Russia)
Hot dogs – 70
Real dogs – 30 (In the US alone)
Ants – 30
High school football – 20 (US)
Vending machines – 20
Bees – 53 (US alone)
Cows – 22
Horses – 20
So don’t be afraid to take the plunge. You’re more likely to lose your life to a vending machine than you are to a shark. And who wants to die under a mountain of unopened Gardetto’s?