Sharks are widely known for their reputation as dangerous predators in the ocean. However, the truth is that not all shark species are created equal. While some are indeed very dangerous, there are many that are harmless to humans and relatively small in size. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five shark species that are considered to be the least dangerous to humans.
The 10 Least Dangerous Sharks
1: Whale Shark
It is the largest species of shark and one of the most gentle creatures in the ocean. Despite its massive size, the whale shark feeds on small fish and plankton, and its slow swimming speed and docile nature make it a popular tourist attraction in many countries. These gentle giants can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh over 40,000 pounds, but they pose no threat to humans. In fact, many divers and snorkelers flock to destinations like the Philippines and Australia to swim with these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
2: Basking Shark
The Basking Shark is another massive species of shark that feeds on plankton and poses no threat to humans. This species of shark is known for its large mouth and gill rakers, which allow it to filter vast amounts of water in search of food. The basking shark is a slow swimmer and is often found near the surface of the ocean, making it an easy target for harpoons. However, despite its size and proximity to the surface, the basking shark poses no threat to humans and is considered a gentle giant of the ocean.
3: Nurse Shark
The Nurse Shark is a bottom-dwelling species of shark that is known for its docile nature and slow swimming speed. This species of shark is often found in shallow waters near coral reefs and is known to be a solitary creature. Despite its large size, the nurse shark is not known to attack humans, and its teeth are used for crushing mollusks and crustaceans rather than hunting. The nurse shark is also known for its ability to curl up into a tight ball, making it a popular attraction for tourists and snorkelers in destinations like the Caribbean and South Pacific.
4: Megamouth Shark
The Megamouth Shark is one of the rarest species of shark in the world and is known for its unusual appearance and gentle nature. This species of shark was first discovered in 1976 and is known for its large mouth, which it uses to feed on zooplankton. The megamouth shark is a slow swimmer and is often found near the surface of the ocean, making it an easy target for fishing boats. Despite its unusual appearance, the megamouth shark poses no threat to humans and is considered one of the gentlest species of shark in the world.
5: Bamboo Shark
The Bamboo Shark is a small species of shark that is known for its docile nature and gentle demeanor. This species of shark is often found in shallow waters near coral reefs and is known for its slow swimming speed. The bamboo shark is a bottom-dwelling species that feed on small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, and is not known to attack humans. Despite its small size, the bamboo shark is a popular attraction for tourists and snorkelers in destinations like the Caribbean and South Pacific.
6: Angel Shark
Angel sharks are bottom dwellers, which means they spend most of their time resting on the ocean floor. They got their name from their flat body shape, which resembles that of an angel. These sharks are small, with a maximum length of about five feet.
Angel sharks, despite their intimidating look, are not considered threatening to people. They primarily eat fish and squid and are generally not threatening toward humans. Indeed, they are so docile that they will frequently allow divers to approach them without attempting to flee.
7: Greenland Shark
The Greenland shark is one of the largest species of shark, reaching a maximum length of over 20 feet. Despite their impressive size, however, these sharks are not considered to be dangerous to humans. They are slow-moving and feed mostly on fish and squid, and are not known to attack humans.
One reason why the Greenland shark is not considered dangerous is that it lives in the ice-cold waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic regions, where humans are relatively rare. In addition, these sharks are considered to be sluggish and slow-moving, making it unlikely that they would be able to catch a fast-swimming human.
8: Leopard Shark
Leopard sharks get their name from their unique markings, which resemble those of a leopard. These sharks are found along North America’s Pacific coast and are quite small, attaining a maximum length of roughly six feet.
Leopard sharks are not considered harmful to people, but they have been known to bite when provoked. They primarily eat small fish and crustaceans and are not hostile toward humans. Indeed, many divers prefer swimming with leopard sharks, which are among the most gentle sharks in the ocean.
9: Sand Tiger Shark
Sand tiger sharks are large and intimidating, with a broad and flat snout and rows of razor-sharp teeth. However, they do not pose threat to humans. They are slow-moving and feed mainly on small fish and squid, and are not known to attack humans.
Sand tiger sharks are sometimes seen by divers, and they are generally not aggressive toward people. In fact, they are known to be one of the most docile species of shark, and many divers enjoy swimming with them.
10: Thresher Shark
Thresher sharks are named after their distinctive tail, which is long and whip-like and used to herd and stun their prey. These sharks are found in temperate and tropical waters around the world and can reach a maximum length of over 20 feet.
Despite their size and reputation, thresher sharks feed mostly on small fish and squid and are not known to attack humans. In fact, thresher sharks are generally considered to be shy and passive and are not typically aggressive toward people.
The Bottom Line
Some of the least dangerous sharks are whale sharks, basking sharks, angel sharks, megamouth sharks, nurse sharks, and sand tiger sharks. All these sharks are considered relatively harmless to people, however, if they are provoked again and again, there might be consequences.