As I type this I am starring out at the Pacific Ocean. I am not on the beach, I am by the pool, but I can see the ocean. I can smell the ocean. And I can hear the waves as they crash onto the shore line. And as I sip from my Tona all that I can think about are the millions of creatures that make their home in this majestic body of water. Anything from crabs to lobster to marlins and tuna fish make their home in something that covers nearly 2/3rd of our planet. But there is another animal that makes its home in the waters and one that brings fear to pretty much everyone in it’s path. I am talking about the always feared shark. (The type of shark does not matter really. A shark is a shark in my book.)
It took me getting to the beach, and having seen numerous sharks while sitting on this said beach, to come across what Popular Mechanics consider a list of ways to survive a shark attack. With these three tips you just might survive your first, or next, shark attack. (Just so that we are clear here, I highly doubt that I am going to be swimming, see a great white sneak up beneath me, and think of this article that I once read in a magazine many moons prior. I might, but I doubt it. I will probably piss my pants, cry like a baby, and wish I were in front of a computer so that I could Tweet about it. Let’s just be honest.)
1. Recognize the behavior.
This is the biggest myth about sharks, and one that I will live by if I am ever in shark infested waters. First off they are animals just like you and me. (Sorry to those that think humans are not animals. We are the prime example of what an animal is.) So if you are every diving, swimming, or simply hanging out in shark infested waters and you see a shark, stay calm. A shark will not freak out if you do not freak out. But, on the other hand, a shark, just like humans, has body language. They will tell you when they are uncomfortable. So it is up to you to look for these signs. But just remember to stay calm.
The shark will at first drop its fins. It will then begin to swim in zigzag motions and attempt to hunch it’s back. These are all fine if you can make your way out of the shark’s area. But if the shark makes his way to the bottom of the ocean and begins to rub his or her belly on the ocean floor (assuming there is an ocean floor that you can see), you have a couple of options. Swim and pray are pretty much the only thing you can do if the shark gets to this point.
But the thing about all of this (the shark freaking out) is that he or she simply feels threatened. Just picture yourself hanging out at the beach with some friends (fellow sharks) and someone came running up and started kicking sand everywhere and drinking your beer. You, in turn, would feel threatened. It is the same difference in a shark’s eye.
2. Get out of there.
This comes as no surprise and pretty much obvious. Actually, I am not even sure why this is on the list. Duh, get out of there. But do it in a calm (like I said before) manner. But, according to Popular Science, this is not an obvious thing to do when faced with one of these beasts. If you are going to be swimming away from the shark, try to swim calm ( can you really swim calm?) and do not take your eye of the shark. Even if the shark is passing by you and acting aggressive, it still might not be interested in attacking. If you are near the coast line, back up to some rocks to decrease the angles of attack. If in open water, get to the top, get on a boat, and as always, pray.
3. Be aggressive.
This one that might not make you very comfortable if you are faced with a shark attack, but you need to act like your instincts tell you and be aggressive. Sharks, just like us, will respect power and size. So if you lay there and play dead prepare to be dinner for the shark.
Sharks like to fight, too. So if you are attacked do not expect a bump on the nose to cut it. You will need to continue being aggressive with the shark and focus on other areas on the face. The eyes are the main point of focus (if they can not see you they can not attack) and the gills as well are very vulnerable. So get those hands in the areas that will bring the most pain to the beast. (I want to see video footage of someone fighting a shark in the water like this.)
Regardless of these three short tips (and they very well might save your life) you need to know that the number one thing to do if faced with a beast of this nature is to stay clam. I know it sounds cliché, but the more you freak out the more of a chance that you have to get eaten by a shark. So stay calm, swim in trusted waters, and if you do in fact spot a shark, leave that area for a while. Better yet, never go back to that area if you can avoid it. And if all else fails, say hello to the shark, make friends, and pray while he enjoys a nice juicy human entrée.