Do Sharks Like Humans: Why Not And Several Facts Around It

Sharks are beautiful oceanic creatures who are often feared by other animals of the sea and humans. But, let’s find out if sharks like humans.

Sharks neither like nor dislike humans. They are quite indifferent to human presence since human beings are not a part of their natural diet. However, if they feel threatened, sharks may sometimes bite you. Although most shark attacks on humans are provoked, there have also been recorded instances of unprovoked attacks.

There is a lot of speculation regarding shark behavior, especially when it comes to humans. Let us look at some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Image credits: “Silky shark” by Joi is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Why do sharks not like humans?

Sharks are shy creatures who prefer living in solitude. But why do they not like humans? Let’s find out.

Sharks do not like humans because they are solitary creatures who like to be left alone. Humans who venture into the ocean often like petting sharks or impede their way. As a result, some shark species feel threatened by human presence and react aggressively, sometimes even biting them out of curiosity. 

Usually, you’ll find sharks moving around in groups of 5 to 15. They prefer traveling alone while looking for prey but may sometimes travel in groups as well.

What attracts sharks to humans?

A common belief is that sharks are naturally attracted to humans and will find them if they are in the same vicinity. Let us learn more in this regard. 

Sharks are attracted to movement and odor. This is because sharks constantly navigate the ocean waters looking for potential prey, and any signs of movement will heighten their curiosity. Also, a shark may sometimes confuse humans with seals since they look the same to the sharks from a particular angle.

There have been recorded instances of sharks attacking humans after confusing them for seals. Our body looks eerily similar to a seal’s when viewed from a shark’s eyesight, and confusion is bound to arise. 

Why do sharks usually attack humans?

There are several reasons why sharks might attack humans. Allow us to tell you more in this regard. 

Sharks attack humans if they confuse them with their natural prey or if they feel threatened by them. Generally speaking, sharks are not hostile towards humans, but if they feel threatened by your presence, they are bound to attack you in defense. Sometimes, sharks also attack humans out of curiosity or confusion.

Often, if sharks spot you moving around in the water, they can be intrigued by your presence, and it might lead to an unprovoked attack. This is why it is essential to venture carefully into the waters and take adequate steps to protect yourself.

Do sharks attack humans for food?

A very popular question that has often come up with regards to sharks is whether they attack humans for food. Let us find out.

Sharks do not view humans as a natural source of food and will never attack them for deriving their meals. In fact, sharks are very picky eaters and prefer feeding on fishes, sea lions, squid, and other marine animals. They would much rather spend their time hunting for these mammals than attack humans. 

The reason sharks attack humans is either curiosity or confusion. Moreover, sharks attack humans if they feel threatened by their presence. There have been very few instances of unrecorded shark attacks. 

Do sharks enjoy being petted by humans?

Image Credits: “Shark petting” by guano is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sharks may come across as ferocious animals with their massive size and sharp teeth. But do they like being petted by humans? Let’s find out.

Surprisingly, sharks love being petted by humans. In fact, they are often called dogs of the sea or ‘sea puppies’ because, just like dogs, they love being stroked and petted. You may gently tickle the shark or stroke them to show affection. In addition, sharks also like it when you tickle their tongue.

Although sharks enjoy being petted, it is important that they don’t feel threatened by you. If you are not with a professional, it is best to leave the sharks alone, or else they might react aggressively towards you.

Do great white sharks like humans?

Image credits: “Great White Shark in South Africa” by travelbagltd is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Great white sharks are among the most aggressive shark species. But, do they like humans? Let’s figure it out together. 

Great white sharks are indifferent to humans – they do not actively seek out human prey and are not aggressive towards them in particular. As you might already know, this shark variety has poor optical perception, due to which they confuse humans with seals, and any attacks on them are due to the shark’s poor eyesight.

Great white sharks are often viewed as a threat to humans. While that is not entirely untrue, it is important to remember that this aggression is purely due to their poor eyesight, making it difficult for them to distinguish between humans and their natural prey.

Do whale sharks like humans?

Image Credits: “Male whale shark – Georgia Aquarium” by Trodel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Whale sharks are beautiful, gentle animals and are considered one of the safest shark species. But, do they like humans? Let’s figure it out.

Whale sharks like humans and are entirely harmless. They do not pose a danger to humans at all, even if you are swimming beside them. The primary diet of whale sharks includes plankton, algae, krill, and eggs and never bite humans. However, they might swat you with their tail if you swim too close.

Whale sharks are among the friendliest shark species. Since they feed on plankton and small fish, they will not eat or bite any human beings they encounter.

Do lemon sharks like humans?

Image credits: “レモンザメ Sicklefin lemon shark” by ume-y is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Lemon sharks are popular sharks due to their easy-going nature and unique coloring. Let us figure out if they like humans. 

Lemon sharks are gentle animals who like humans and are not a threat to them. In fact, the instances of attacks by lemon sharks on humans are so rare that this species has become popular among divers, surfers, and sea explorers. Even the attacks that have been documented did not result in any fatality.

In addition to being non-threatening, lemon sharks enjoy being petted by humans. They often swim towards you with an open mouth when they want to be petted or tickled. 


The dynamics between sharks and humans is a complex one. Despite their magnificent size and sharp teeth, sharks rarely pose a threat to humans. On the contrary, human activities like overfishing and commercial shark finning have severely impacted the ocean ecosystem and pushed several shark species towards extinction. Sharks are rarely bothered by human presence and attack them merely to defend themselves or due to confusion.


I am Sehrish , I love writing about animals. I like exploring the different aspects of the animal kingdom and aim to present the information to the readers in an interesting, easy-to-read format. The world of animals is full of undiscovered, intriguing facts and stories and there is nothing I enjoy more than delving deeper into it.

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