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Rod Brouhard, EMT  P

Tidy, Hungry Sharks

By February 16, 2009

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Aussie sharks and I have something in common: we both like a clean house.

Last week there were two shark bites in two days. One of the theories behind this sudden shark interest in human delicacy is the cleaner waters of the Australian coast -- a byproduct of environmental activism -- are attracting these aquatic eating machines. Call it gentrification of the coral reef.

Either that, or the sharks swimming off the coast of Australia are just hungry, which could be because there are more of them to share the surfers, er, I mean fish.

I don't know the odds of being shark dinner (or breakfast) but I'd be willing to bet it's higher than winning the lottery. That makes sense, because if winning the lottery was easy, tickets would cost more. I do know it's a lot more likely you'll get cooked by lightning than eaten by a shark.

The Florida Museum of Natural History compares the likelihood of shark bites to other dangerous possibilities -- like lightning -- in coastal states (it seems kind of silly to do the comparisons in those square states in the middle). In the 48 years that stats are available, there were almost 40 people per year killed by lightning compared to half a person per year killed by sharks.

Half a person per year? Doesn't that sound like the shark came back for leftovers?

Of course, if you live in a state with no ocean, you won't get eaten by a shark and you could still get zapped. I suppose you could stay inside all the time, but that's not gonna happen.

You don't have to swim in the ocean -- cuts down significantly on the odds of getting eaten. Because just like sharks, if you trespass in my house, I might bite you.

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