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Old 05-08-2011, 13:33   #16
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Re: Maybe we should not be that afraid of sharks?

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Originally Posted by martinjrichter View Post
According to www.snopes.com/critters/snakes/waterski.asp the water moccosin stories are pretty much that stories not to be believed.
You can't believe everything you read on snopes either.

I have personally encountered water moccosins here in Texas, and I can say they are very agressive. Like most snakes they are good climbers, and unlike most pit vipers, bite with no provocation.
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Old 05-08-2011, 13:54   #17
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

Two problems with the snope analysis.
1. Cottenmouths DO form mating balls, or clusters like several other varieties of snakes with multiple males competing for a female.
2. One death per year is a lot in a small geographic area, (it is irrelevant that Snopes points out that, "that is small compared to the 300 million people in the US", someone living in Alaska has a ZERO chance of encountering a water moccosin that lives in semi tropical waterways).
3. A water Moccosin is fiercely territorial, bites without provocation, and has a deadly venom, (3rd deadliest in US). 1 coral snake, 2 copperhead, 4th rattlesnake).
And may act irrationally during mating season.
4. Did the event EVER happen? With one death per year in this area it is quite likely that at least one time someone was bitten multiple times if they were it is very likely that they died. Entanglement in barbed wire while swimming in man made lakes that were once fenced farmland is also not that uncommon an experience.

When someone dies in a rural area, the story of their death is often repeated by families and friends multiple times with details being confused and lost, does that mean it never happened?

I have personaly seen a newspaper article with pictures, names, and dates of an incident dissmissed as "urban legend" by snopes, but I guess since they said it didn't happen it was just my imagination.
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Old 05-08-2011, 14:07   #18
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

Sharks, bears, cougars, snakes are all something to be respected. 2 ton marine mammals who want to play with you also fall into that category.. (the best part of the video is at about minute 6)

Spiders are to be feared. Irrational maybe but I'm standing by it.
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Old 05-08-2011, 14:51   #19
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Re: Maybe we should not be that afraid of sharks?

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Originally Posted by martinjrichter View Post
According to www.snopes.com/critters/snakes/waterski.asp the water moccosin stories are pretty much that stories not to be believed.
I was only kidding...but snopes is wrong on that one...yes they don't form "nests" but moccasins ARE aggressive and if you don't belive me fine...paddle down all the Mobile river creeks you want too...especially those with low overhanging branches...
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Old 05-08-2011, 15:04   #20
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

On the water I'm most afraid of ................ people with boats! And if I ever see one named shark I'm giving them as much of the water way as possible!
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Old 05-08-2011, 15:11   #21
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

I've been attacked (and bitten) by dogs. I've been bumped by sharks while surfing. Neither experience was enjoyable (although the adrenaline feels pretty good).

Past that, the number of people driving motor vehicles while impaired (cell phones, texting, sleep deprived, intoxicated, under the influence, *other*) is more of a concern than the others.

And besides, the bigger animal risk is #4, Hippos. The Hippopotamus kills more humans than all other animals put together.
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Old 05-08-2011, 15:25   #22
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

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Well, I honestly don't know anyone who was bitten and maimed by a shark, but I do personally know one person who was bitten and maimed by another person. Had his nose bitten off...so what virginia boy says must be a true fact.
Agreed

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Old 05-08-2011, 15:31   #23
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

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The Hippopotamus kills more humans than all other animals put together.
Excepting of course, other humans.
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Old 05-08-2011, 15:36   #24
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

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Excepting of course, other humans.

Sad but true.
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Old 05-08-2011, 17:17   #25
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

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And besides, the bigger animal risk is #4, Hippos. The Hippopotamus kills more humans than all other animals put together.
Humans are pretty bad these days (as always?), but do not forget the lowly mosquito. Mozzie-borne disease kills millions each year.

And I will add my vote for crocks being far scarier than sharks in Oz,

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:33   #26
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

Jaws was based on a real story of a shark that developed a taste for humans about 1915 along the New Jersey coast. Some Tigers develop a liking for humans too, we are pretty much the easiest and most abundant prey around. Don't take it personal, they are just opportunist predators just like we are. The only time I would want to kill a large predator is if it took a liking to me, then I would be darn right ornery in hopes that they would choose an easier prey. But I wouldn't blame them, because they are just trying to live like everything else in this world. Do I fear you because you eat cows? (gasp)
BTW- the original article list obesity as only killing 300k a year. I think that number is much higher, with obesity the number one health threat in the US. When you look at Diabetes, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, heart disease and failure, I'm sure we are killing off a million a year if not more.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:24   #27
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

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Like we used to tell clients " sharks eat people in Hollywood"
The only problem with this is the 79 people that got bitten last year, ...I'll bet we taste just like seals, (another warm blooded semiaquatic mammal with a thick coating of fat, and a white underbelly that swims at the surface)
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:04   #28
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Considering that millions of people were swimming and only 79 were bitten NOT eaten I don't think that is too risky.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:15   #29
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

IMO, fear of the unfamiliar is part of the human condition. Getting behind the wheel of a car is probably the most dangerous thing one can do, but we feel no fear because we are comfortable with it. Being on a boat in open water is probably one of the safest things one can do, being in the water--not much different.
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Old 08-08-2011, 15:35   #30
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Re: Maybe We Should Not Be that Afraid of Sharks

I think perfectly natural to be afraid of sharks (or at least wary of) when both of you are in the water. They might not (statistically) eat you - but if they wanted to they could

On land of course the balance of power changes
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