The Real Killer: Sharks or Selfies


Beware: Within the past year more people died while taking selfies than from shark attacks.

A few months ago, while climbing the tallest mountain on my island, a group of Filipinos stood on a large rock near the summit to take a group selfie. When this large rock broke loose several of the group were injured and one climber was crushed by the large boulder. Evacuation meant carrying this individual in an improvised stretcher down the mountain and transporting them to a hospital in Manila where they spent several days in critical condition.

I have not yet seen a shark in my Philippine province. But I have dove with thresher sharks, hammerheads, nurse sharks, white tip and black tip reef sharks, and a potential bull shark that was hard to identify from far away both in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and have never felt threatened much less attacked. My closest encounter was diving at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium where the Big Ocean Exhibit sharks like to brush up against you like a dog or cat as you scrub the aquarium glass.

Humans kill approximately 100 million sharks each year (2013). Help protect sharks from human predators. Help protect yourself by using your senses while taking selfies.


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