What not to do unless you wish to become a great white shark's main course!
There are many, many reasons you might want to get bitten by a shark, a pastime that’s become increasingly trendy this summer. For starters, it’s a far less humiliating way of getting famous than appearing on a reality show. Not to mention all the weight you’d lose.
Trouble is, the odds of actually getting bitten are roughly equal to winning the lottery. But like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play. Here are some simple proactive measures you can take to maximize your odds of an aquatic altercation.
1. WEAR SHINY JEWELERY
Sharks, like subway chain snatchers, are attracted to flashy bling. This is why you have never seen Mr. T swimming.
2. STICK TO MURKY WATER
The Australian government, which ought to know, claims sharks favor “turbid” or “silt-laden” water. When 14-year-old Lydia Paulk danced the incisor tango off the coast of Texas recently, she was picking up beer bottles from the ocean floor, which kicked up sand. If you’re not in Texas—and, thus, the water is beer-bottle free—small shells and loose rocks make an acceptable, albeit less classy, substitute.
3. STAY HORIZONTAL
Use a flotation device if need be. The more you stay on your back or stomach, the more you’ll resemble a seal, the animal most deserving of the title “nature’s burrito,” should National Geographic ever bestow such an honor.
4. SWIM LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SWAM BEFORE
Seriously. Be creative. Load your bathing suit up with jellyfish if you have to. Remember, the more you helplessly splash around, the more weak, defenseless and delicious you’ll appear.
5. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Long favored by fisherman, rivers emptying into the ocean are also prime hunting grounds for sharks. A choppy spot with birds dive bombing on the surface? Could mean a feeding frenzy below. A dorsal fin zigzagging to ominous orchestral accompaniment? This, too, could indicate the presence of a shark. Stay alert, read the ocean, and plan your approach accordingly.
6. COORDINATE YOUR WARDROBE
Bright, contrasting colors are to the ocean what tube tops and belly rings are to the dance floor. “I’m easy, please eat me,” they telegraph to sharks, as if they were overly fragrant men from New Jersey.
7. CULTIVATE IRONY
Donate money to your local “Save The Sharks” charity. Eat shark fin soup every day for a week. Get a law degree. How will this increase your chances of getting bitten? It won’t. But it will add much needed levity to your dismemberment and set you apart from 16 year-old Craig Hutto, who, before his foray into edibility last month, was just another redneck waist-deep in the Gulf of Mexico.
8. BE PATIENT
You may want to pack a lunch and bring an extra battery for your cell phone. With only 61 shark attacks worldwide last year, the odds of you actually getting bitten are about one in one hundred million. But here’s hoping!