The 10 Most Dangerous Places Around the World for Shark Attacks

Shark attacks, while rare, can be a significant concern in certain areas around the world. Here, we explore the top ten most dangerous locations for shark attacks, combining insights from HowStuffWorks and the International Shark Attack File.

  1. Volusia County, Florida: Known as the “Shark Attack Capital of the World,” Volusia County has recorded a staggering 337 attacks since 1882. New Smyrna Beach, in particular, reports more incidents per square mile than any other beach globally​​.
  2. South Africa: South Africa, famous for its great white shark population, has witnessed 259 shark attacks since 1905. Areas like Dyer Island near Capetown, known as “Shark Alley,” are hotspots for shark activity​​​​.
  3. New South Wales, Australia: With 267 attacks recorded since 1700, New South Wales is a hotspot for shark activity, especially for surfers. The state experienced five attacks and one fatality in 2021 alone​​.
  4. Queensland, Australia: Queensland has a history of 199 attacks since 1700. The eastern coast of Australia, including Queensland, is particularly prone to attacks due to its dense population and numerous beaches​​. The total shark attacks in Australia from 2012 to 2021 amount to 143, with 20 being fatal​​.
  5. Hawaii: Hawaii has seen 159 shark attacks since 1828, with two-thirds occurring off the coasts of Maui and Oahu. The state is home to around 40 species of sharks, including the dangerous tiger shark​​.
  6. Brevard County, Florida: Florida, a state with a high number of shark attacks, sees Brevard County contributing significantly to this statistic, with 155 attacks since 1882. The county’s popular beaches and tourist attractions contribute to these numbers​​.
  7. California: California has reported 29 shark bites since 2012, with the northern coast, particularly the Red Triangle area, being more prone to attacks. The state’s coastline is a habitat for seals, which attract great white sharks​​​​.
  8. Brazil: Brazil has experienced 107 shark bites since 1931, with most occurring in Recife due to environmental changes that have attracted sharks closer to the coastline​​.
  9. South Carolina: Since 1837, South Carolina has reported 107 shark attacks. The state’s coastline, especially in counties like Charleston and Horry, is known for its shark presence​​​​.
  10. Papua New Guinea: Despite having a smaller coastline compared to other locations, Papua New Guinea has logged 48 shark attacks since 1848. The diverse marine environment here attracts divers and tourists, increasing the likelihood of encounters​​.


These locations, while beautiful and popular for various water activities, present a higher risk of shark attacks. Awareness and caution in these areas are crucial for safety. It’s also important to note that despite these statistics, shark attacks are relatively rare, and the risk should be balanced with an appreciation for the ocean’s natural inhabitants.