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Now that we’re officially in the thick of summer, you’d be a lousy Southern Californian if you didn’t take your board down to the beach and get your water-sport on. (Even Lindsay Lohan’s trying. Key word “trying.”)
But because we’re part of the fear-mongering mainstream-media machine, and we can’t let you enjoy anything without first instilling an uneasy feeling that something could go terribly wrong…
… we’d like to bring to your attention the worst-case scenario of surfing (or swimming) SoCal: getting bit by a great white shark.
Forget the fact that you’re more likely to be killed in a freak vending-machine accident than in the jaws of a shark. We’ve always hated that argument, because a vending-machine death would be so much less awful. Right? Something about seeing those big sharp teeth sink into your flesh, reminding you that you’re not necessarily at the top of the food chain, makes a shark attack (or any wild-animal attack, really) the worst way to go.
Of the 40 shark attacks recorded in Southern California since 1926, here are the five scariest — or at least the ones with the most nail-biting details available in news reports. (To really get the paranoia surging, check out the Shark Research Committee’s extensive log of all great-white sightings off the California coast.)