Shark attacks went up around the world in 2021, according to new research from the Florida Museum of Natural History and the American Elasmobranch Society.
However, researchers say this may just be an effect of things opening after the pandemic.
The International Shark Attack File reported there were 73 shark attacks in 2021.
64% of those attacks happened in the United States, with Florida reporting the highest number of bites.
Australia had the second-highest number of attacks that year.
In 2020, the peak of lockdowns due to COVID-19, there were 52 shark bites.
2020 had the lowest number of unprovoked incidents since the group started tracking shark attacks.
The 73 incidents recorded in 2021 are closer to the five-year global average of 72.
A total of 11 people around the world died last year, due to shark-related incidents.
Nine of those are considered “unprovoked”, meaning humans did not initiate contact with the sharks.
A separate study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society, found that it is difficult for sharks to be able to tell the difference between humans and prey.
Sharks have worse vision than humans and rely heavily on motion and contrast.
Oftentimes, sharks go after humans thinking they’re animals.