If there's one thing we've learned from our elders it's that death is a big shit sandwich, and we've all gotta scarf it down one day. Assuming you're not a robot who can simply transfer your consciousness into a new body when the Reaper comes a-knocking, you've probably spent a little time pondering what is going to take you out in the end.
Chances are you're worrying about the wrong sandwich. Statistics show that the bogeymen behind some of the most widespread fears and phobias are downright toothless. At least when compared to the seemingly innocent stuff you didn't know could take you out at any moment. For instance ...
6What's More Dangerous than Sharks? Cows.
Jaws, Deep Blue Sea and countless Syfy originals all tell us that sharks are killing dudes left and right. They're practically the Grim Reapers of the ocean. Sure, we know that sharks don't really attack a whole lot of people, but we see one shadow swimming back and forth beneath the waves at the beach and we don't give even the smallest shit about what's realistic -- our asses are headed back to shore.
And then we call this guy.
The media love to get in on the shark action, too. Like in 2001, when a young boy was attacked by a bull shark at Langdon Beach in Florida, then another attack occurred in the Bahamas. Before you knew it, we were dealing with a full-on shark invasion, the coverage of which was later dubbed "The Summer of the Shark." Everyone was so freaked out by the attacks that legislators were actually pushed to pass legislation to deal with sharks, which they totally did.
It actually turned out later that shark attacks were down when compared with previous years. The fact is, on average, only one, single, solitary person in the United States dies from a shark attack each year, a 1 in 3,748,067 chance in your lifetime. For every year that several people are killed by sharks, there are plenty of other years in which no one is.
What You Should be Afraid of:
You want to know what blood thirsty, murderous beast kills about 20 times as many people?
Cows. Cows killed 108 people between 2003 and 2008, an average of about 22 deaths a year, or a 1 in 173,871 chance. Like we said above, sharks just don't really attack that many people. Most of the time, they don't even attack people on purpose. They just think you kinda look like their food.
Cows, on the other hand, are pretty big and hella strong. They're easily able to crush a fully grown adult, and people are around them far more than they're around sharks. A charging bull or stampede can still take you by surprise and kill you dead before you can yell "Land Shark!" In other words, you're more likely to die by cow hoof than by shark bite ... and that's not even touching mad cow disease or E. coli.