The western media wants everyone to believe that sharks are the most dangerous species of the water or even otherwise. We have scene lots of Hollywood movies based on shark scare like the “Jaws” series (third movie of Jaw series was one of the worst movies I ever saw) or the later “Deep blue Sea” (which was made very scary indeed) or “red water” (which I haven’t scene yet) etc. Even the discovery channel shows lots of shows about sharks. Perhaps the western culture believes or wants to believe that sharks are most dangerous animal on the planet.
But the study and statistics say that sharks are not that dangerous, sharks tend to avoid humans and very rarely attack, that too when she is convinced that the target is another fish or water creature. Wikipedia says that during 2001 to 2006, average fatality per year due to shark attack is just 4.3 as compared to hundreds of fatalities every year by crocodiles. All the species of sharks including great white, have been filmed in water without cage protection, can one dare to do so with a salt-water crocodile? :)
On the other hand crocodiles, particularly salt water crocodiles are the most dangerous water species for humans because they target humans intentionally, and humans are always on their menu :) . Crocodiles kill annually hundreds of humans with intentional attacks without any provocation. Also the strength of a crocodile is unbelievable, it can drag a full-grown buffalo into water very easily. A salt water crocodile can grow up to 7 meters and there have been reports of crocodiles 10 m long too. And any species of shark doesn’t stand anywhere if compared with a crocodile.
“Despite their slow appearance, crocodiles are top predators in their environment, and various species have been observed attacking and killing sharks”
Wiki further says
“The larger species of crocodiles are very dangerous to humans. The main danger that crocodiles pose is not their ability to run after a person but their ability to strike before the person can react. The Saltwater and Nile Crocodiles are the most dangerous, killing hundreds of people each year in parts of south-east Asia and Africa. Mugger crocodiles and possibly the endangered Black Caiman, are also very dangerous to humans.“
Then why western culture is so obsessed with sharks? Probably because of their appearance, with round bulging eyes and big jaws, sharks look really scary, whereas crocodiles don’t look so scary if compared to sharks.
In Indian culture, crocodiles have always been considered most dangerous water species, bollywood films have also reflected it at times, and also there is a saying in Hindi “Jal mein reh kar magar se bair”.
Following is an interesting slide show of a fight between shark and crocodile, and of course crocodile was the winner.
Note- Image is from Youtube