Four Misconceptions About Animals

October 26, 2023


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sharks sharks


Sharks have been around for millions (yes, millions) of years and have become one of the ocean’s most feared creatures despite posing little harm to humans.  In fact, humans are the more dangerous species, killing approximately 100 MILLION sharks in fisheries every year. In comparison, only about five humans (out of 7.8 billion worldwide) are killed yearly due to shark attacks. While accidental shark attacks on humans can happen, they are uncommon and rarely fatal.

After all those millions (again, yes, millions) of years, sharks have made it pretty clear that they prefer their menu to consist of aquatic creatures over humans. In fact, sharks have often been observed spitting out or vomiting up human flesh after realizing they’ve bitten an animal they don’t want to make a meal of.

FIN FACT: Falling coconuts kill 30 times more humans annually than sharks – it sounds nutty, but it’s true!

spiders spiders


There are billions of spiders worldwide, but not one species of spider preys on humans. So why are so many people scared of these eight-legged critters? We can’t tell you why people dislike spiders, but we can tell you why you should LOVE spiders.

For starters, spiders play a vital role in the balancing of our ecosystems and without them, the human species would not survive. Spiders also eat between 400 and 800 million insects a year, helping to maintain a healthy balance in native ecosystems and protect local agriculture and forests from pests that feed on crops and other flora. On top of that, spiders keep us safe by preying on insects that can harm our health, such as mosquitos.

FIN FACT: More than one million people die yearly from mosquito-borne diseases vs. less than three deaths annually due to spider bites.

piranha piranha


When you think of piranhas, you probably think of blood-thirsty pack hunters that you would NOT want to encounter during a leisurely swim. But did you know that contrary to popular belief, piranhas have little interest in humans and are far less vicious predators than pop culture has made us believe?

Piranhas are actually an omnivorous species that prefer feeding on plant material, small fish, and worms. Large prey like humans are off the table (literally), as piranhas are timid creatures. Regularly confused for “pack hunters,” piranhas are often seen in large schools to protect themselves from native predators rather than to take down large prey like humans.

FIN FACT: Most piranha species are actually vegetarian. The red-bellied piranha, which you can see at Adventure Aquarium, is one of the few species to eat a mostly-meat diet.

snake snake


Snakes are critical to their native ecosystems, serving as predators and prey on the food chain. This means that without snakes, there would be a major imbalance that would negatively impact the ecosystems that these reptiles call home. Like spiders, snakes are excellent hunters, keeping unwanted pests, such as mice, out of our homes.

Not only that, but snakes are far more afraid of humans than humans are of snakes, using behaviors such as fleeing, rattling, or hissing before they resort to biting.


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