The 7 Most Aggressive Sharks in the World

Although you’re more likely to get killed by lightning (or even cows who kill about 20 people yearly), the fear of death by a shark attack is universal. Fear of the most aggressive sharks in the world became universal after films like Jaws and The Meg became pop culture hits.

But the subject can be looked at as… Is the glass half-full or half-empty? On the one hand, sharks have only killed an American once every 1.7 years. On the other:

There are around 500 species of sharks, with more being discovered, but only a small portion of those are seen as highly aggressive. With that in mind here are 7 of the most aggressive shark species in the world.

7. Shortfin Mako Shark

Arguably, as one of the most menacing-looking of the shark species with its pronounced pointed snout and large black eyes, the shortfin mako stands apart. Their average length is ten feet and they can weigh up to 300 pounds.

6. Great Hammerhead Shark

There are nine different species of hammerhead shark in the world with the largest being the great hammerhead. They’re known for their small mouths, eyes on the sides of their head, and of course the shape of their heads that resemble a hammer.

5. Sand Shark

Sand tiger sharks are also known as gray nurse sharks and ragged-tooth sharks. They are often spotted near the ocean floor. Their name is derived from the fact that they migrate towards shorelines and are often seen by surfers. They live in warm waters throughout the world. In total, there are three species of sand sharks that also include smalltooth sand tigers and bigeye sand tigers. The largest smalltooth sand tigers are about 15 feet long and weigh around 600 lbs.

4. Blacktip Shark

These sharks can be found year-round in the Gulf of Mexico and are also in the waters from Virginia through Florida as well as many other places in the world. Their pectoral, dorsal, and tail fins are black-tipped. They’re also one of the shark species that spin out of the water while feeding.

3. Bull Sharks

In the United States, bull sharks are found off the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re extremely aggressive and can also be found in freshwater which has given them more access to humans.

Male and female Bull Sharks have quite the difference in size with males reaching about seven feet in length and females growing up to 11 feet. Adults can weigh from 200 to 500 pounds.

2. Tiger Sharks

A tiger shark gets its name from the dark stripes on its body when it’s younger that fade with maturity. Their size range is from 10-14 feet with females being larger than males. Large female tiger sharks can weigh 2,000+ pounds.

It is second in line, behind the great white, in recorded human fatalities having attacked 131 humans which includes 34 fatalities.

1. Great White Shark

Great white sharks are the most aggressive sharks in the world having recorded 333 attacks on humans, with 52 of them being fatal.

The inclusion of this particular species probably comes as no surprise since movies, particularly Jaws, and television shows are quick to show their aggression. And they would be partly right. Worldwide, the Great White is responsible for about ⅓ to ½ of the 100-plus shark attacks per year making them the number one of their species that do so. Although almost all of those are not fatal, it’s still a sobering statistic.

Human beings aren’t what White Sharks normally stalk. They are carnivores though, able to swim up to around 25 mph, and eat mostly:

  • Sea turtles
  • Sea lions
  • Seal
  • Porpoises
  • Dolphins

The largest Great Whites are around 20-feet long and weigh between 1,500 and 4,000 pounds. The largest ever recorded great white is estimated to weight 5,000 pounds!

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