Most people think they know a decent amount about sharks due to their prevalence in television and movies. Simply mention Shark Week and most people will have an opinion of the shark programs. Whether people are scared, entertained or amused by sharks, though, one thing is for sure: It's easy to forget just how wild and just how powerful sharks are.
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge recently shared a video of an Atlantic great white shark off the coast of Cape Cod.
As a warning, the video is slightly graphic/bloody in some parts.
The footage is quite rare as it shows the shark eating and thrashing the seal side to side. The video, titled "Seal Predation," goes on for about one minute and shows footage of the shark's activity both above and below the surface of the water.
Although the video doesn't show the actual attack, the footage of the shark eating is quite fascinating and a great example of the animal's brutal power and hunting habits. While the video is a great example of the shark's nature as a wild, powerful animal, it should add to humans' respect for sharks — not their fear.
According to the Wildlife Museum, the chances of being attacked by a shark are about 1 in 3,748,067 and you are more likely to die by fireworks or lightning.
Organizations like the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (which shared the seal predation video) do a great job of educating people about sharks and their habitats without instilling fear in humans.
The conservancy, which is also based in Massachusetts, has a website that explains the importance of both education and research "to ensure that this important species thrives."
The organization's mission is a perfect example of highlighting education when it comes to sharks rather than fear or entertainment.
Since 1830, there have been only seven shark attacks (and only three fatal) recorded in Massachusetts, according to a Shark Attack Data Base. This is a perfect example of how the frequency of shark attacks is often exaggerated.
So if you are in Massachusetts and happen to see the seal predation video, it's important to remember that these animals deserve the utmost respect (and protection), not fear.