Popular movies, like Jaws, have notoriously given sharks a bad rap for being dangerous to humans. Because of the horror stories, many fear swimming in the ocean knowing that sharks could be lurking around the corner, but is such fear justified?
George Burgess, the Director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, doesn't think so, citing that at least 95% of the ocean's sharks are never involved in human/shark encounters.
We can break down the percentage of sharks that attack people even further. According to Burgess, sharks don't typically target people unless they're behaving in ways tantamount to natural shark prey.
When humans opt to wear dark-colored skin-tight suits when surfing, they can look a lot like something sharks do eat regularly: seals. While floating around at the ocean surface, a shark's eye has trouble distinguishing the difference.
Smaller sharks make up a significant portion of those swimming in our ocean. Mid-sized sharks or larger (around six feet in length) are more likely to attack a human, simply because we're in the correct size range for their prey.
Sharks probably don't specifically search the oceans for people to eat. Most attacks are probably accidental, as they'd rather eat their regular favorite meal.