While no one can ever guarantee your safety at the beach, the danger (perceived or not) points to some interesting things about the neuroscience of stress and anxiety.
On this Rational Pi Day, consider some of our irrational societal behaviors. Begin to take the first steps towards quelling those and taking more rational approaches to the issues that will impact us all.
You would never send your child into the ocean if you saw a shark. You would never send your child into a pool if you saw lightning. Let's treat our kids' hearts with the same sense of caution and urgency because the real threat to our kids may not be found in the water or sky. It is likely hiding in their chest.
I was about to enter a cage surrounded by sharks in the open ocean, and the only emotion I felt was excitement. I jumped off the side of the boat into the expanse of a deep blue Hawaiin ocean, adjusted my snorkel mask, and dove under the water.
The idea of being attacked by a shark, as unlikely as it is, is scary. But why, if the odds are so low? Because our perception of risk is not just about the numbers. It's about emotions too. There is no better example of how risk perception is more a matter of emotion than of quantitative reasoning than this classic illustration of how our fears sometimes don't match the facts.
As you head to the coast for summer vacation, the slim possibility of a shark attack might be in the back of your mind. Chances are you've got nothing to worry about, but just in case, you should probably know where most shark attacks happen in the U.S.
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No doubt, Mr. Williams' bad judgment unleashed a fury of controversy. The blood bath that ensued was definitely Emmy award-winning but was it justified?
It should seem that sharks are used to bad news by now. So perhaps there's no better a time than now for some good cheer. Indeed, a recent study from Brazil suggests promise in a humane, non-lethal, and impressively successful method to keep beaches clean of attacks -- without putting a bullet in anyone's brain.
As a lifelong shark, I am thoroughly disgusted by the libelous statements this "victim" is perpetrating in the media, and I'd like to use this opportunity to set the record straight.
A great white shark out for a leisurely swim in open water got the surprise of its life when a human attacked it, sickening it with its offensive sunscreen lotion.
Some people look past the sensationalism and all those razor-sharp teeth to see sharks for what they really are -- streamlined, beautiful animals that are fantastically adapted to their environment (there's a reason they've been around for 64 million years) and, for the most part, aren't too interested in eating humans.
I've seen many shark attacks and what impresses me is how wary and cowardly sharks are. They typically circle and check out their prey from a safe distance, then ease in closer to gain more information. Then, they frequently probe it in a swift passing bump before something switches in their brain and they attack in a way that the word used to describe sharks at supper portrays -- a frenzy.
Based on how sharks have been portrayed in movies, television and in the news, a great number of people believe that humans are considered a snack sensation in the ocean. In reality, people are not good shark food.
There are not many of us who are going to go through an encounter with our worst nightmare that leave us with vital bits missing and with nothing left to fear. But our world is made more amazing by its danger, more exciting with its risks.
Ocean swimmer Hamish Jolly wished there was a wetsuit that could keep sharks at bay -- so he invented one. Find out how he did it, and how you could apply the same techniques to create an innovation of your own.