Infographic: Man Bites Shark

A new infographic shows the incredibly lopsided data on why sharks have more reason to be afraid of humans than vice versa.

Imagine the cinematic classic Jaws as reinterpreted by M. Night Shyamalan. It’s the same old maritime tale of man vs. beast, only now it reveals at the end that we humans were the monsters all along. That’s sort of the vibe you might get from looking at a recent infographic on sharks.

Created by Joe Chernov and Robin Richards, it’s a visualization showing how the mortal threat sharks pose to humans stacks up against the threat we pose to them. It’s staggeringly lopsided in our favor. While the infographic claims sharks took only 12 lives in 2012, apparently humans tend to kill that many sharks every four seconds, for an estimated total of 100 million sharks annually.

These sharks are killed mainly for their fins, the most profitable part of their bodies–used to create shark fin soup or holistic “medicine,” if you can believe that. This infographic was created to help create awareness of the prevalence of finning, and it lists several organizations, such as the Shark Conservation Society, that are working to change the course. Have a look below.

H/t to Laughing Squid

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.