Lifestyle

Every U.S. State, Ranked By Likelihood Of Shark Attack

Ah, summer. The season of backyard BBQs, a period when living is supposedly easy, and the time of the year you're most likely to get bitten by a shark, statistically.

If you're anything like me, you live every week like it's Shark Week—which can inevitably open you up to some potential danger. What you can do to help yourself, is steer clear of states that are less likely to be infested by those gill-powered killing machines you may have seen ripping seals to shreds on YouTube. To help out a little bit, we formulated this handy state-by-state guide, to let you know exactly how likely you are to be bitten by a shark, wherever you are.

50. Iowa - 0% chance of being bit by shark

Iowa is so shark-less, even its aquarium isn't packing any Selachimorpha. 
 

49. Nebraska - 0% chance

Great for corn, also great for not getting killed by sharks.
 

48. Kansas - 0% chance

There's no place like Kansas, if you hate getting bitten by sharks. 
 

47. Montana - 0% chance

I remember watching Caitlin's Way on Nickelodeon. Lots of horses. Lots of angst. No sharks.
 

46. Wyoming - 0% chance

Ol' Faithful does not contain sharks...but that would be kind of cool. 
 

45. Kentucky - 0% chance

You would have to be extremely unlucky in Kentucky to be chomped by a shark.
 

44. Utah - 0% chance

I'm pretty sure Mormons are against sharks. Why? No idea. 

43. Arizona - 0% chance 

Yeah, no sharks.
 

42. New Mexico - 0% chance

Excellent meth, supposedly. No sharks. 
 

41. West Virginia - 0% chance

Some wild shit happens in WV. Shark bites are not one of them. Unless "shark bites" are some weird sex thing, then yeah it probably happens all the time. 
 

40. North Dakota - 0% chance

I don't know anything about North Dakota, but I do know there aren't sharks there.
 

39. South Dakota - 0% chance

I think Mount Rushmore is here? But definitely no sharks. 
 

38. Tennessee - 0% chance

Jack Daniel's distillery. No shark attacks. Nashville. Three great reasons to move to TN. 
 

37. Idaho - 0% chance

In Idaho, you have a better chance of being eaten by a potato than a shark. And potatoes don't even have mouths!

36. Arkansas - 0% chance

The statistical impossibility of getting bitten by a shark is the only thing Arkansas has going for it, really. 
 

35. Illinois - 0% chance

The Windy City isn't windy enough to bring sharks over.
 

34. Wisconsin - 0% chance 

I'm sure they have sharks there made of pure Wisconsin cheddar. But those are delicious, not dangerous. 
 

33. Vermont - 0% chance

Vermonters are too busy donating to PBS and being full of themselves—and their delicious maple syrup—to worry about shark bites. And luckily, they don't have to. 
 

32. New Hampshire - 0% chance

(See Vermont)
 

31. Indiana - 0% chance

"She grew up in an Indiana town, with a good looking mom, who never was around...sharks." That was the original version.

30. Nevada - 1% chance

So you probably wouldn't have guessed anyone would have been bitten by a Siberian tiger in Nevada either, right? Look how that turned out. 
 

29. Minnesota - 1% chance

According to Fargo, there are at least two loan sharks in Minnesota. Does this translate to real sharks? I don't know. But I wouldn't take my chances.
 

28. Missouri - 1% chance

I heard a story about someone falling into a shark tank and getting eaten alive in the St. Louis aquarium. But, the guy who told me was at least seven beers deep. Also, it was just me talking to myself. In my kitchen. Man, spring break was awesome. 
 

27. Michigan - 2% chance

Call me crazy, but I just feel like there are sharks up there. 
 

26. Ohio - 2% chance

Steven Spielberg, director of Jaws, was born in Cincinnati. Also that lake in Cleveland is pretty much radioactive. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Sharks. A whole barrel of 'em.
 

25. Oklahoma - 2% chance

Because you must take the rarely seen, but highly feared, Sharknado into consideration. 
 

24. Colorado  - 3% chance 

If you get stoned enough to see a shark, will a shark actually appear? My answer: yes, yes it will. 
 

23. Pennsylvania - 5% chance

Despite being landlocked, there is actually one recorded case of someone getting bitten by a shark in the state of PA. Yes, seriously this time. 

22. Alaska - 5% chance

Okay, so nobody's ever actually been attacked by a shark in Alaska. And maaaaybe there's no evidence sharks even live up there. But they have Killer Whales, which are like giant, despondent mammal-sharks. Good enough for me. 
 

21. Maryland - 5% chance

Despite having an expansive bay, and citizens consistently covered in Old Bay, Maryland has avoided any official shark attacks. So far. We're watching you, Maryland. 
 

20. Rhode Island - 10% chance

Okay. Now we are getting into spots where real, unprovoked shark attacks have been recorded. Rhode Island has had just one since 1837, so it's still fairly safe. Fairly.
 

19. Mississippi - 10% chance

Mississippi has only had one shark attack ever. And only one person has been able to spell "Mississippi" without saying it aloud. Coincidence? Probably. 
 

18. Connecticut - 10% chance

Connecticut: land of lobsters/game fowl embroidered on pants, and also one shark attack since the 1830s.
 

17. Maine - 10% chance

In my mind, Maine is basically Canada for people who still love freedom. And with only one shark attack under their belts, freedom (in the water at least) rings clearly. 

16. Louisiana - 20% chance

Two people have been attacked by sharks in LA, which still boasts less victims than Carcosa and the Yellow King. But, time is a flat circle, so that number is bound to come around sooner or later. 
 

15. Washington - 20% chance

Two people have also been attacked by sharks in the great state of Washington. You see what happens when you legalize illicit drugs, Washington?! Do you see?!?
 

14. Massachusetts - 25% chance

There have been three recorded shark attacks, and one fatality (in 1936) in Massachusetts. And this summer, a heightened number of great whites have been spotted off Cape Cod, which is wicked disconcerting. 
 

13. Delaware - 25% chance 

Four people have been attacked by a shark in Delaware. This is surprising, because I always believed Delaware was absolutely the most boring State in the country.
 

12. Virginia - 30% chance

Virginia has had five recorded shark attacks, and even one fatality in 2001. So, I guess Virginia is for lovers...of getting eaten by giant, carnivorous predator-fish.
 

11. Alabama - 35% chance

Even though Alabama only has a teeny little part touching the ocean, it's chock full of shark action. Eight people have been attacked by sharks in Alabama—conveniently, all this shark violence was left out of Forrest Gump. Typical Hollywood, white-washing the real issues. 

10. New York - 35% chance

Start spreadin' the news: New York is a hell of a town to get bit by a shark in, with nine attacks recorded since the 1800s. Shit, I've been bitten by nine cab drivers in the past year, and you don't see me complaining.
 

9. Georgia - 35% chance

As it turns out, sharks are more inclined to snack on Georgia people than Georgia peaches, with a whopping 13 people attacked by sharks in the state. That's more intense than a 12-minute-long Duane Allman solo.
 

8. New Jersey - 40% chance

As someone who personally grew up on the beaches of NJ, I can say I've never seen a shark. But 15 people have been attacked, and five have actually been killed by sharks in the past century and a half. Yikes. 
 

7. Oregon - 50% chance

You may not associate Oregon with shark attacks, but a whopping 26 people have been attacked by sharks in the Portlandia state. Maybe the sharks are attracted by the smell of coffee? Or the taste of non-conforming?
 

6. Texas - 60% chance

Goddamn it, Texas. First George W., then this? A thoroughly disturbing 39 people (including two fatalities) have been mauled by sharks in the oil state. And here I am, assuming Texans just shoot anything that moves.

5. North Carolina - 65% chance

North Carolina is home to Tobacco Road, and to 53 shark attacks (and three fatalities). I guess eating humans is the shark equivalent to cigarettes? "I wish I could quit you."
 

4. South Carolina - 70% chance

Though they share a border and half a name, South Carolina is waaaaaay more shark-infested than its brother to the north. There have been 82 shark attacks since 1837, with two fatalities. Needless to say, this Carolina is "the bad one."
 

3. California - 80% chance

Everyone is just super chill in Cali. Probably because they know they will eventually be eaten by sharks, so what's the point, even? 114 have been attacked, and 10 have died. How was this not a major plot point on Laguna Beach
 

2. Hawaii - 90% chance

Ok, so I kind of expected Hawaii to be high on this list. It's a group of Islands, it's tropical, and the majority of its population is out surfing right now (from what television has shown me). But I didn't expect the number to be this high: 136 attacks, with nine fatalities. What state could possibly be worse than this?
 

1. Florida - 100% chance

Were you expecting anyone else? The notorious phallus of America is home to an absurd amount of shark attacks: 717, with 11 fatalities. That is almost 7x more than the second most on this list. Maybe the sharks there are on bath salts, too?


Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Supercompressor. The only sharks he comes into contact with are loan sharks. Follow him @WilFulton.

Want more of the Culture you actually care about delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up for our daily email.