Dangerous Marine Life to Look Out For at the Beach

At the beach, everything is smooth sailing until you feel a peculiar object brush against your leg. Spielberg’s 1975 shark horror movie, ​Jaws ​ , may have glamorized the idea of dangerous marine life, particularly sharks, but it is a reality that beach goers should be wary of. Whether it’s a shark or a baby jellyfish, the deep blue sea hosts a number of creepy crawlers that could be a danger to you or your family. With that said, it’s completely feasible to enjoy your beach days without having a constant worry about encountering these animals, as long as you know the facts about these creatures, including where they live and how to spot them:

1) Sharks

If the ​Jaws ​ theme song is sounding off in your head, you know the fear that comes with spotting a shark in the ocean. Most notably spotted by its sharp, triangular fin, the shark is a creature that resides on the top of the ocean food chain. Although sharks are intimidating, there’s an exaggerated fear associated with them. They’re carnivorous, just like us! But that doesn’t mean they go out of their way to be ​killers. ​ In fact, the yearly average of ​unprovoked shark attacks​ on humans is only 80. As long as you stay out of the water during twilight hours, ensure you never enter the water while bleeding, and take precautions to avoid wearing shiny jewelry, you have a low chance of facing a fatal shark attack.

2) Jellyfish

Here’s a ​stinging fact​: There are about 2,000 different types of jellyfish. Of these types, only about 70 of them can harm you. Even better, most of these poisonous jellyfish types don’t typically hang out in shallow water. You’re always off better safe than sorry, so it’s important to pay attention to jellyfish warnings. If the waters are infested with the jellies, it might be a good day to skip out on swim time. Another big no-no is playing with jellyfish that have washed up on the shore. A common misconception is that a dead jellyfish is a safe jellyfish — this is absolutely untrue! There’s still a chance of getting a nasty sting from a dead jellyfish.

3) Stingrays

You can usually expect to find ​stingrays​ in the deeper parts of the ocean, so these animals aren’t too much of a threat. Although, it’s good to be cognizant of the dangers they may pose. Normally, stingrays aren’t aggressive creatures. The only time they pose a real threat is when they are 1) stepped on, or 2) feeling threatened by a creature bigger than them. The key is: Don’t mess with them. If you see a stingray in its natural habitat, let it be. If you happen to be scuba diving or if you’re in the deep blue sea, be sure to shuffle your feet when you’re on the ocean floor.

That’s it for now, folks! There are hundreds of thousands of marine animals, so the list could go on for days, but the number of sea animals that would actually harm you is much lower. Be
cautious, as always, but as long as you know your limits and how to deal with these potential encounters, you are off to a safe start. As the saying goes, “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”

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