10 Most Dangerous Places for Shark Attacks

South Carolina
They're all smiles at SC's Myrtle Beach, until the sharks show up.
They're all smiles at SC's Myrtle Beach, until the sharks show up.
Aladdin Color Inc/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


­Since 1837, 82 shark attacks and two fatalities have occurred in South Carolina [source: ISAF]. Though they occur all along the state's coastline, the majority have occurred in Horry County, home to popular Myrtle Beach. As this list will reveal, more people in the water generally increases the chance of a shark attack.

Almost 40 species of shark are indigenous to South Carolina's waters [source: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources]. The species are generally mild, including the sandbar and bonnethead sharks, but more aggressive species, including the tiger and the bull shark have been spotted. South Carolina's offshore estuaries provide good birthing and feeding grounds for these sharks [source: Viegas].

Several factors keep South Carolina from being as dangerous a place as, say, Florida. At North Myrtle Beach, the continental shelf, where sharks find many fish to feast on, is located 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) out from the coastline. In Florida, that shelf can come within a mile of the shore [source: Hulen]. We'll have much more on Florida later, but as another comparison, the waves are generally milder at beaches such as Myrtle, so fish aren't being thrown inshore with sharks in hot pursuit.

It should be noted that escaping to the other Carolina won't eliminate the threat of sharks. North Carolina is no slouch in the shark attack department either, with 52 attacks and 3 fatalities [source: ISAF].

A state on the opposite U.S. coast takes the next spot on our list.

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