People are five times more likely to die while taking a selfie than from a shark attack, experts have revealed.
Millions of people across the globe have been terrified of taking a dip in the sea since huge movie Jaws hit cinemas in 1975.
And yet experts say you are five times more likely to die from selfie-related injuries than being scoffed by a shark.
Marine biologist Dr Mike Heithaus said: “Sharks should not stop you from enjoying the ocean. Most of the ones you’ll see are more scared of you than you should be of them.
“Many things we do every day are more dangerous – like selfies or driving.
“The chance of you getting killed by a shark is very low. Big predators don’t tend to go chasing after prey and attacking it.
And humans are quite a big animal. Most sharks tend to eat things that are about 10% of their body length. There are a lot of species out there encountering people every year and yet it’s very rare that you get a negative outcome.”
Some species can be found right here in UK waters including dogfish, porbeagle and basking sharks.
And if you go on holiday to places like South Africa and Australia you could get to see a great white.
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But Dr Heithaus says they are usually nothing to worry about.
He explained: “If you see one, what you need to do is keep your eye on them.
“Most attacks happen when someone hasn’t seen the shark. So if you have seen a shark and you keep your eyes on it and let it know that you know it’s there, bad things aren’t going to happen. And then exit the water and let them have their space!”
The expert has worked with sharks for two decades and regularly gets up close to them as part of vital marine research.
He admits that even he can get nervous sometimes.
De Heithaus said: “When I first started working with sharks I was still very nervous. I’d seen Jaws!
“Being nervous is a good thing because it means I don’t get complacent. When you’re dealing with big animals, you get into trouble when you get complacent.
“I read the body language of sharks. If they get agitated, I know it’s time to get out. But the boats, the trucks and the weather are the things that are dangerous – far more than the sharks.”
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