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Women Nine Times More Likely to Survive Shark Attacks

Update Date: Sep 05, 2014 08:58 PM EDT

Women are more likely to survive shark attacks according to a new study.

Australian researchers found that men were targeted in 84 percent of all unprovoked shark attacks. However, men made up 89 percent of all shark bite fatalities. Researchers said that this means that women are statistically more likely to stay alive during shark attacks, according to the Daily Mail.

According to The Telegraph, researchers double-checked the results because they were so surprised by the findings.

"Potentially men spend more time in the water, and are more risk-prone," researcher Daryl McPhee of Bond University in Queensland told The Telegraph.

The latest study also revealed that Australia had the highest number of fatal shark attacks worldwide. What's more, the number of unprovoked shark bites has tripled in recent years.

The study showed that there were 32 fatal shark bites documented in Australia between 1982 and 2011. Researchers noted that there were 171 unprovoked bites during that time.

"Of the six countries where shark bites are most prevalent, Australia actually recorded the fourth lowest percentage of bites that were fatal at 18.7 per cent, despite having the highest number of total fatalities," McPhee said.

"In comparison, the United States has by far the highest number of recorded bites but also the lowest percentage of fatalities, at just 3.6 per cent, which is likely to be because of a higher level of reporting of incidents, while Reunion, a small country located south of Mauritius, had the least attacks of the six countries, but the highest fatality rate at 51.6 percent," he said.

"Australians have an obvious love and affinity with the water, so the high level of usage undoubtedly plays a part," McPhee explained. "The type and size of sharks found in Australian waters is also believed to be a factor, with the white shark behind the highest number of unprovoked shark bites globally and prevalent here."

The study was published in the journal Coastal Management.

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