Texas Wants to Know

Texas Wants to Know: What are the odds of a shark attack along the Texas coast?

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NBC Connecticut

The odds of being attacked by a shark in Texas, or anywhere for that matter, are minuscule -- a one in 3.7 million chance, according to the University of Florida. So why do they strike such fear in beachgoers?

"People think that anything that looks like a shark is a shark and it will hurt them. But in general, sharks are actually not out there to hurt us," curator at Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine Karen Rifenbury said. "Unfortunately, the movie Jaws really didn't do sharks justice. They made people very afraid of sharks."

While the odds of a shark encounter are long, they're not zero. A surfer, who asked that we just use his first name, was bitten on the foot by a shark in December 2022 in Corpus Christi. He walked away with minor injuries and added the encounter wouldn't deter him from getting back on the board.

"If you think about all the potential things that can happen to you out surfing, you're not going to go surfing," Jim said. "You just kind of got to go with it and figure the odds are on your side most of the time."

The president and CEO of the Texas State Aquarium Jesse Gilbert explained why a shark might want to check out what's on top of a surfboard.

"If you're a snorkeler or scuba diver and you look up and somebody is on a surfboard above you, all you see is that dark silhouette," Gilbert said. "A shark -- they're just curious. They see that might be something from a dark silhouette standpoint that they might put on the menu and then they realize it's a human."

Listen to Texas Wants to Know in the Audacy app or wherever you get your podcasts.

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