(CNN) — Stop believing everything you saw in “Sharknado.” Great white sharks, although some of the deadliest marine animals, can’t attack humans on land and won’t hurtle from the skies in a torrent of teeth to eat your children. In fact, you’re more likely to be killed by a fire ant. But you should redirect that trepidation toward a more dangerous creature of the deep: the bull shark.
If you look only at the numbers, both the tiger and the great white surpass the bull shark in attacks and fatalities, with great whites totaling 314 attacks and 80 fatalities globally But here’s the thing: The threat of the bull shark lies not in how often it bites but where it does it. Bull sharks present a particular threat due to the fact that they’re not averse to fresh or brackish water.
So next time you hop on the river for a canoe ride, you might want to watch for dorsal fins. One Australian golf course was even infested with them. Shallow waters are usually shark kryptonite, bull sharks prefer them. They like getting close to those sandy beaches, just like you. But even the violation of what should be the safest part of the ocean isn’t the worst of this shark’s killer tendencies.
The worst thing about this underwater predator is that it will take a chunk out of you out of sheer curiosity. That’s right, these guys bite just for the fun of it. Bull sharks have even been known to attack hippos, land animals weighing in at 1½ tons, with some males getting up to nearly twice that. So although bull sharks are responsible for only 100 attacks around the world, it takes just a bit of digging to realize that the fear factor of these aggressive predators is much, much higher. Happy swimming!