After four long years of being cancelled, Fox finally brought back ’24′ this week! Star Kiefer Sutherland plays Jack Bauer, a counter-terrorism agent and general badass. Jack has had to kill in the line of duty many times. In fact, as of this past Monday’s premiere of “24: Live Another Day,” Jack Bauer has killed 273 people. How does this record stack up to a cause of death that so many people fear, death by shark bite?
Here are 24 species of shark that have killed fewer people than Jack Bauer has killed on ’24,’ according to the International Shark Attack File. All fatalities reference the time period 1580-2013, and encompass the whole world. Only fatalities where the shark species has been identified are included here
1) The great white shark. Though the antagonist in “Jaws” is a great white, this species is responsible for only 78 human fatalities.
2) The tiger shark. These animals have a reputation for eating anything, but have killed only 28 humans.
3) Bull sharks have killed 26 people.
4) Blue sharks have killed four people.
5) Oceanic whitetip sharks have killed three people.
6) A dusky shark killed one person.
7) A grey reef shark killed one person.
8 ) A bronze whale shark killed one person.
9) A Galapagos shark killed one person.
10) A shortfin mako shark killed one person.
Um… that’s it, not counting 2 fatalities attributed to lamniform sharks 7 fatalities attributed to the requiem shark family, as well as many cases where the species involved could not be identified. In the whole world, since 1580, there are only 153 human fatalities attributed to all species of sharks (when the species has been identified) combined. Jack Bauer has killed almost twice as many people as all sharks (when the species has been identified) in the last 450 years in the whole world. By the end of this season, I’d be shocked if he didn’t pass this mark.
I promised you 24 species of sharks, so here are 14 more species, and a fun fact about each of them.
11) Greenland sharks eat polar bears sometimes.
12) Thresher sharks can whip their giant tails at more than 80 miles an hour.
13) The rarely seen megamouth shark was first discovered in 1976 when a navy vessel accidentally dropped an anchor on it.
14) Hammerhead sharks use their hammers to pin flat prey like stingrays to the bottom.
15) Angel sharks burrow under the sand and wait for prey to come to them.
16) A basking shark swam from Massachusetts to Brazil.
17) Cookiecutter sharks bite circular holes out of their prey, which includes one human (who did not die but has a nasty scar).
18) A female bonnethead shark in captivity gave birth without having mated with a male, a process called parthenogenesis.
19) Unlike many species of sharks, which need to constantly swim in order to breathe, nurse sharks (and some other species) can pump water over their gills. I saw a nurse shark hang out under the same coral ledge for about a week once.
20) Female lemon sharks return to the exact spot where they were born to give birth.
21) All members of the deep sea lanternshark family can glow in the dark, but E. spinax uses glow in the dark spines like “lightsabers”.
22) Sawsharks (which are not the same thing as sawfish) have a giant saw on their face.
23) Walking sharks can walk along the bottom using their fins.
24) I heard that someone caught a goblin shark in Florida recently…
Update: As indicated by the title of the post, I am focusing on confirmed fatal shark bites (there is no doubt that the shark bite is what killed the human, there is no doubt what species was involved). The International Shark Attack File also has a list of 493 shark bites in the same time period if you include fatalities not attributed to specific species. Similarly, the list of Jack Bauer’s kills only focused on his confirmed on-screen kills, and as Jack Bauer was already a highly trained badass at the start of Season 1, we can assume that his list of unconfirmed off-screen kills is also quite high. For comparison’s sake, I focused on confirmed kills for both Jack Bauer and shark species.