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In case a shark attacks, here's how you can fight back

By Doug Criss, Illustrations by India Hayes

Published July 18, 2018

Yes, we know there are a ton of terrible things more likely to befall you than a shark attacking you. But it does happen. Last year, there were about 155 attacks worldwide. Consider these tips.

Courtesy Malkusch Markus/Creative Commons/Flickr

TIP ONE: ACT BIG

Sharks respect size and strength. Pop it on the nose, suggests George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File.

TIP TWO: DON'T PLAY DEAD

Attacks are rare but if you do find yourself in the jaws of a great white, bull or tiger shark -- don't play dead.

TIP THREE: FIGHT

Hit 'em where it hurts. Aim for sensitive areas such as the eyes, gills and nose.

TIP FOUR: GET HELP

Get out of the water (duh), because the attack will attract other sharks. Then deal with the bleeding.

Successfully fought off Jaws? Whew! You don't want a repeat of that experience so here's what you should do differently next time:

  • Stay out of Florida: OK, we're kidding (but only a little).

  • Don't swim at night: You won't be able to see the sharks coming.

  • Ditch the bling: Sharks think light reflecting off of jewelry are fish scales.