Saturday, January 19, 2019

Shark week gets it wrong

I know when it is (cue the music) Shark Week!!!!
I get a few calls every time Shark Week comes around. The caller is a scared TV viewer that has lost sleep because of her fear of sharks. 

I have to worry about sharks!
I try to reassure her that she is safe because she doesn’t live by the ocean. She is usually not impressed by this information. I continue, “We live in Redding, California, a long way from sharks. Plus, Redding is pretty much a desert. In fact, this year Redding is a desert on fire. Sharks want no part of our very hot and dangerously dry environment.
Shark week may be good programing for selling commercials, but it is poor programing in terms of what we should be cautious about. So, let's play a game. Here is an alphabetical list of dangerous animals. See if you can rank this list from most dangerous to shark. That is right, the shark is the least dangerous animal on this list.

Dangerous Animal List/Alphabetical
____ Ants
____ Bees
____ Cows
____ Deer
____ Dogs
____ Hippopotamuses
____ Horses
____ Humans
____ Jellyfish
____ Mosquitoes
13   Sharks
____ Snakes
____ Spiders

Answers below:

01. Humans 
About 17,000 people die due to homicide in the US every year. (Yep, people are animals.)
02. Mosquitoes
About 650,000 people die worldwide every year because of protozoan parasites transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.
03. Hippopotamuses
About 3,000 people are killed a year by these highly territorial, semiaquatic mammals, especially during the mating season.
04. Deer
About 125 people are killed by deer in the US alone, mostly due to car accidents. 
05. Bees
About 70 folks are killed a year by our busy buzzy friends in the US alone due to allergic reactions to being stung. This number includes the bee “cousins,” wasps and hornets.
06. Dogs
About 40 Americans are killed each year due to dog bites. This does not account for the deaths, most often elderly people, who accidentally fall due to their pet dog.
07. Ants
About 30 people a year are killed in Africa because of swarm stinging leading to a deadly allergic reaction.
08 Jellyfish
In the warm waters of the Philippines, about 30 people die from a severe allergic reaction to Jellyfish venom each year. 
09. Cows
About 25 people are killed by bovine.
10. Horses
About 20 people die from horse kicks or from falling off their mount. 
11. Spiders
About 6 people die per year in the US from spider bites. 
12. Snakes
About 6 people die in the US each year due to snake venom. (Most snakes are not venomous.)
13. Sharks
Less than 1 person in the US dies per year from shark attacks. You can up your chances by going to Australia and purposefully swimming in shark-infested waters. (About 3/year).
And for the vegetarian reader that loves coconut, about 150 people die every year due to falling coconuts. 
Stay safe and please use your seat belt. (Cars are very dangerous.)

Please let me know what you think by clicking the “comments” below.

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