Top Countries for Shark Attacks

Which countries have been the site of the most confirmed shark attacks against humans since 1580?
Country totals include their external territories
Quiz by AbdulKebabdul
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Last updated: February 22, 2022
First submittedJuly 8, 2014
Times taken30,376
Average score63.6%
Rating4.52
2:30
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#
Country
1576
United States
682
Australia
258
South Africa
110
Brazil
78
France
56
New Zealand
#
Country
48
Papua New Guinea
41
Mexico
33
Bahamas
23
Iran
23
Fiji
+51
Level 82
Jul 8, 2014
Just so people don't think shark attacks are anything but rare, this list is based on all attacks from 1580 to the present. There have been only 569 recorded fatalities due to shark attacks from 1580 to the present. Sharks generally mistake us for seals and when they discover we don't taste like seals they leave us alone. Makes for great television though.
+30
Level 83
Jul 9, 2014
Also, this is "recorded" shark attacks... since 1580 the USA has kept much better records than most other places.
+55
Level 66
Sep 16, 2018
Nice try, shark lobby. I'm not buying it.
+24
Level 74
Jun 6, 2020
I guess I know who is going to be "mistaken for a seal" very soon.
+1
Level 87
Nov 9, 2020
I vaguely knew the lady who got killed in the US this year. I think it was only the 2nd worldwide for the year.
+3
Level 55
Jun 28, 2021
And then in December Australia blew the entire list up.
+15
Level 83
Jul 9, 2014
Got bored and gave up before guessing Fiji but got the rest. Americans are so delicious!!!!
+17
Level 62
Sep 19, 2018
I think a country needs four things to appear prominently among the countries in this quiz: (1) large population; (2) access to warm seas; (3) good record keeping going back a long time; and (4) a wealthy population who can afford to spend time on the beach. Small wonder the United States tops the list.
+8
Level 67
Sep 21, 2018
Being such an obese country no doubt contributes to winning the being-eaten-by-a-shark contest, too. :)
+2
Level 48
Apr 14, 2022
And where are you getting this information that all Americans are obese? Exactly.
+6
Level 59
Jul 28, 2022
"The US obesity prevalence was 41.9% in 2017 – March 2020. From 1999 –2000 through 2017 –March 2020, US obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%"

cdc.gov (centers for disease control and prevention)

these stats might also be less than it is in 2022 if it follows the trend

+1
Level 82
Jul 28, 2022
Looking like seals does help pad the stats.
+2
Level 48
Jul 30, 2022
How did we get from the phrase "being such an obese country..." to "...all Americans are obese?". We are indeed an obese country, as any number of studies have reported. Certainly not _all_ Americans are obese, nor did the original poster say such, or even insinuate such.
+9
Level 81
Nov 15, 2020
On a per capita basis, I'd say Australians are considerably more delicious, it seems.
+5
Level 63
May 16, 2017
Im pretty sure the philippines would be on here
+19
Level 83
Sep 16, 2018
The water is so dirty around major population centers I don't think humans or sharks want to go swimming in it.
+2
Level 41
Jun 23, 2021
hmm then what about indonesia?
+12
Level 72
Aug 23, 2018
As some have suggested, I suspect much of it has to do with record keeping. For instance, I am amazed the Philippines did not make the list; that could easily be the result of haphazard recording of attacks. Iran is the one that I failed to guess, and am still quite surprised by. Could that be more the result of meticulous record keeping than anything else? I wonder.
+1
Level 36
Nov 22, 2019
It's actually due to waters not being suitable for sharks.
+5
Level 91
Aug 23, 2018
This is actually copied and pasted from the source...

USA 1407

Australia 621

Republic of South Africa 252

Brazil 104

New Zealand 51

Papua New Guinea 48

Mascarene Islands (Reunion Island) 42

Mexico 40

Bahama Islands 30

Iran 23

Fiji Islands 22

Egypt 19

Japan 15

Greece 15.

The figure for USA in the quiz is incorrect and France only have 5, not 66.

+15
Level 71
Aug 23, 2018
Reunion Island is part of France
+1
Level 76
Feb 20, 2021
Réunion is indeed an overseas department of France.
+1
Level 55
Jun 28, 2021
They have had so many dangerous attacks that it is now effectively illegal to swim in many places there
+15
Level 75
Aug 23, 2018
Good job to the quiz maker for recognizing that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, along with other territories. The number cited is then correct when these numbers are added up.
+11
Level ∞
Aug 23, 2018
Yes, the quiz is correct.
+3
Level 80
Nov 17, 2020
How did you get to Level 88 and manage to think Reunion is a country and not part of France? Did you miss out on a few quizzes or a few hundred?
+1
Level 40
Apr 20, 2022
French Guiana and Reunion exist.
+4
Level 65
Aug 23, 2018
This is RECORDED, which has very little to do with ACTUAL numbers. As everyone noted the countries thate make up the top of the list are the only ones that keep record. India, the Philippines, Indonesia and eastern African countries would probably be at the top of the REAl list. Anyway, even counting probably thousands of non recorded instances in the last centuries, shark attack numbers are still minuscule compared to those of dog, cattle, snake, crocodile or even bee or wasp attacks.
+4
Level 83
Aug 23, 2018
They might be higher but I sincerely doubt they would be at the top. There aren't that many indigenous surfers in Indonesia or Somalia. If you don't go swimming out in the ocean you're not going to get attacked by sharks.
+2
Level 33
Aug 24, 2018
There may also be a bias in some countries to suppress reports in order not to discourage tourism. But it's also a good point that the number of surfers & swimmers in the water will have a big effect. I wonder how many fishermen get bitten.
+1
Level 64
Aug 25, 2018
In other quizzes, external territories do not count. If Reunion, Tahiti, New Caledonia are to count, then at the very least in the notes it should say INCLUDING EXTERNAL TERRITORIES.

The data source also segregates the Canary Islands from Spain, which is strange.

The Sun did an article on shark attacks since 1900, their figures were 50 for Italy, 38 for UK and 35 for Spain. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4084241/as-a-third-shark-attack-rocks-majorca-europes-most-dangerous-spots-to-swim-are-revealed-and-britain-is-in-second-place/

+6
Level ∞
Aug 25, 2018
Added a caveat. Isn't the Sun a tabloid?
+2
Level 66
Sep 16, 2018
Yes.
+5
Level 36
Nov 22, 2019
Never believe anything The Sun puts out.
+1
Level 82
Jul 28, 2022
Scousers never buy the Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uWw7kuiCss
+2
Level 69
Sep 17, 2018
Interesting that so many of these countries are English-speaking, or frequented by English speakers - Australia, but not Indonesia? South Africa, but not Mozambique? I think the source is biased.
+2
Level 87
Nov 9, 2020
More like the sharks are.
+4
Level 58
Jun 11, 2022
Sharks can only speak english, didnt you know that? Imagine ordering for a human in portuguese, quite hard for them
+1
Level 77
Sep 17, 2018
Sadly, we need to add one more to the US statistics.
+6
Level 54
Sep 17, 2018
An indian friend of mine said that he knows people from his village that were killed by sharks. Also, there are some weird fatalities in a place in Greece known for its deep waters. In other words, shark fatalities are indeed rarer than what is often depicted, but they remain largely underreported. This is also confirmed by the absence of India, Indonesia and other countries, while USA dominates.
+1
Level 67
Dec 13, 2021
I think India probably has a lot more. Bull sharks exist in the River Ganges, besides activities along the coast.
+1
Level 46
Sep 18, 2018
A boat carrying 5 fishermen off Isla Mujeres, Mexico disappeared 2 years ago. No sign of any of them - shark perhaps? Recorded as such, probably not.
+1
Level 57
Mar 8, 2021
suprised to see Iran on here. When I think Iran, I don't really think of sharks
+3
Level 51
Apr 8, 2021
Iran ? WTF ?
+2
Level 55
Apr 9, 2021
Poor Recife and Boa Viagem beach probably are the only reasons why brazil makes it here.
+1
Level 63
May 1, 2022
Why does Iran have so many?
+1
Level 87
Jul 28, 2022
I haven't looked too much into it but apparently some of its rivers are popular hotspots for sharks.
+1
Level 65
Jul 28, 2022
Sharks seem to have a strong predilection for Anglophones. Hmmmmm...
+2
Level 57
Jul 28, 2022
Every year only about 10 humans are killed by sharks.

On the other hand, every minute more than 100 sharks are killed by humans.

+1
Level 54
Jul 29, 2022
Yeah, when I looked it up I found a little more than 180 sharks killed by humans per minute.
+1
Level 36
Jul 30, 2022
I hate finishing behind the USA in anything: quantity of people killed by sharks, obesity...Bearing in mind that sharks love fat, catching up to the USA in terms of national obesity could really help us catch them with the other one. Hey: a two birds, one stone situation.
+1
Level 36
Jul 30, 2022
My favourite conspiracy theory is that there are far more shark-related fatalities in Australia than are reported, but the government hushes this up to keep all of those tasty, tasty tourists coming here with their lovely money.

I like it because the idea of any Australian government (ever) being competent enough to keep a secret is amusing.

But yeah: we're just much more delicious than anyone else