The animals that kill people

Love this Infographic at Wonkblog about how many Americans die on average each year from various animals.  Sharks, as you probably actually already know, are among the least deadly (about one a year), but surely not in our imagination.  Just this week two kids (disturbingly close in age to my own kids) were attacked by a shark within a couple of hours at Oak Island, NC.  Not really all that far from Topsail Island where my family goes every summer (and will be in 3 weeks).  The 16 year old boy suffered a “clean transection” of his left arm– that’s right, the shark bit it right off.  On a rational level, I know that my kids are in no more danger (some, but very little) than when they cavorted in the ocean last year, but I can pretty much guarantee my brain won’t see it that way when we’re at the beach.

Rationally, I clearly should be a lot more afraid from dogs, bees, and cows (okay, probably not cows, we’re pretty much never around them).

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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