MAR 25, 2019 7:48 AM PDT

Fourth Barrier Reef Shark Attack in Six Months Raises Concerns

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Shark attacks aren’t particularly frequent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen every now and again. In fact, a young man in his 20’s was hospitalized Monday afternoon after sustaining a somewhat nasty shark bite to his thigh while spearfishing off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

Shark attacks aren't common, but they do happen.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Paramedics arrived at the scene via helicopter not long after the shark bite was reported. While the man’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, but that doesn’t depreciate the gravity of the situation. Shark bites often vary in severity, depending on the size of the shark and the size of the victim respectively.

Related: Fossilized shark teeth provide clues about a species that lived alongside T. Rex

The occasional shark attack doesn’t generally incite cause for alarm, but this was purportedly the fourth shark attack to transpire in this particular region within a six-month time period. Perhaps more alarmingly, one of those shark attacks resulted in a fatality, so it comes as no surprise that local authorities have expressed safety concerns and taken measures to prevent future shark attacks in the region.

Despite the circumstances, it’s worth noting that sharks aren’t as aggressive as they’re painted to be. People often fear swimming in the ocean because popular Hollywood films have demonized sharks and exaggerated their aggressiveness toward humans for decades; this false narrative is reinforced by the intimidation factor that comes with a shark’s prehistoric appearance coupled with rows of aggressive razor-sharp teeth.

On the other hand, many experts agree that sharks have poor eyesight and that the vast majority of attacks occur entirely by accident when the giant fish misidentify any oddly-behaving human in their natural habitat as natural prey. In most cases, the sharks are calm around humans until provoked; an external factor is usually to blame for a shark attack.

Related: The genome of the great white shark has been decoded

Regardless of whether shark attacks happen on purpose or by accident, that doesn’t discredit the fact that they can be deadly. For that reason, researchers are continuously investigating ways to reduce the number of shark attack occurrences. One of the most recent advances in technology is the so-called ‘Shark Shield,’ which disturbs the electromagnetic field in a manner that researchers describe as “annoying to the shark.”

Many shark repellant methods are still in the testing phase at the time of this writing, but if they ever do reach the masses, it’s hoped that shark attack events just like this one will become a thing of the past.

Source: Phys.org, DailyMail

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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