15 Of The World's Greatest Shark Sightings

Contrary to popular belief, sharks are generally not a threat to people. The giant sea creatures do not normally hunt humans. When they do, it is usually a case of misguided identity, according to NOAA.  Sharks sometimes mistake people for its natural prey, such as fish or a marine mammal or sea turtle, and most often will release the person after the first bite.[slideshow:91796]

The "big three" species – bull, tiger, and great white sharks – are big enough to do a lot of damage to a person and must be treated with respect and caution. The U.S. averages just 19 shark attacks each year and one shark-attack fatality every two years. According to National Geographic, for every human killed by a shark, humans kill approximately two million of the "super predator."

People love a good slayer story, but in reality the odds you'll be attacked by a shark are astronomically slim. The chances you will be attacked by a shark are one in 11.5 million, according to Florida Museum of Natura History. That means you are more likely to be killed by a bear, a dog, or a tornado than a shark. 

Encountering the giant fish is an exhilarating adventure many people want to participate in. Swimming with sharks or looking at them from behind a cage is on many thrill-seekers' bucket lists. Resorts and tour agencies offer the experience of being very close to the ocean's most terrifying creature.

If you're curious but not quite ready to get that friendly with these large sea species, a cage dive will likely better suit your appetite for a shark-viewing adventure. More experienced divers are brave enough to literally swim with the sharks.

Click here for 15 of the World's Greatest Shark Sightings

More readings: 

The Biggest Sharks Ever Caught

Islands Ruled By Animals

The World's Deadliest Sharks