The 30 Most Terrible Shark Attacks Ever

Even though they are rare, the ferocity and savagery of shark attacks make sharks among the most feared predators in the entire world. Here are some of the most horrifying shark attacks in modern history.

Torn to Pieces


A shark brutally attacked a young girl in 2012 in the Indian Ocean. Her family was snorkeling with her when the shark attacked without warning, swimming away with half of her body afterward.

Shark with jaws open

Actress Killed By Shark


Actress Marcia Hathaway was mauled by a shark while on vacation in Australia. The shark tore apart her right leg, leading to fatal blood loss.

Shark attack wounds

Shark Buffet


A truly horrific event occurred when a French boat sank, causing 100 passengers to float helplessly on the water, awaiting rescue. Sharks came to the area, feasting on dozens of survivors.

Shark swims through the water

That’s a Big Shark


You’re lucky if you survive any shark attack, but Omar Conger was extremely lucky…the shark that attacked him was an astonishing 16 feet long!

Huge shark swimming

Great White Strikes Twice


Authorities had a true killer on their hands after a great white killed a scallop fisherman in 2015 while his daughter watched. The shark had previously bumped a diver and attempted to attack him.

Shark with mouth open

Surfer Savagely Killed


Surfer Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. was attacked by a 16-foot-long great white, which ripped his torso into shreds, ending his life.

Shark in the ocean

True Survivor


Not all shark attacks have sad endings. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton survived an attack that claimed her left arm and even resumed her competitive career.

Shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton

Terrible Treatment


As if being tossed into baskets like these and thrown in the ocean wouldn’t be bad enough, Japanese forces made sure that their Allied soldier prisoners were dumped into shark-infested waters. Many were eaten alive.

Pig baskets

Dolphins to the Rescue


Todd Endris survived a shark attack because of the help of some dolphins, which circled him to shield him. He still suffered horrific leg and back injuries.

Three dolphins swimming

Gruesome Injuries


This gruesome photo is the result of a shark attack on 19-year-old David Borman during 2003. Tragically, Borman died of blood loss.

Wounded surfer after shark attack

First Fatal Attack


The first documented great white shark kill in California took place when a huge great white jerked 17-year-old Barry Wilson completely out of the water with its jaws. It then dragged him under, with Wilson emerging just one final time to scream for help.

Shark thrashes in the water

Tragic Honeymoon


Honeymooner Ian Redmond was tragically attacked by a six-foot shark while snorkeling. The shark tore off his legs and hands, resulting in fatal blood loss.

Shark shows its teeth

Biggest Shark Attack Ever


Unquestionably the biggest shark attack in human history happened when the USS Indianapolis sank. About 600 people died while waiting for rescue, many of whom were feasted upon by sharks.

USS Indianapolis survivors

Her Family Couldn’t Help


One very gruesome shark attack happened when Shirley Ann Durdin was killed while snorkeling in 1985. A seven-foot shark ripped her head off as her family watched helplessly.

Shark attack

Lost His Grip


Rodney Temple’s friend tried to keep him from being pulled down into the sea by a pair of Sharks in 1972. However, the diver couldn’t maintain his hold on Rodney, who was dragged to the depths and killed.

Two sharks swimming

Gone In An Instant


After Randy Fry was decapitated by a shark during a deep coastal dive near California, all his friend could do was wonder how it all happened so quickly.

Great white shark

Deadly Tiger Shark Attack


A tiger shark took the life of surfer Zac Young in Australia. Young was grabbed by friends and was able to say he loved them as they pulled him to the shore, but he died before help could arrive.

Tiger shark swimming

Inspiration for Jaws


The film Jaws was inspired by a large part over a summer in 1916 when several shark attacks took place in a ten-day span. Charles Vansant was just the first of many victims of the killer shark.

Shark from the movie Jaws

Young Surfer Murdered


13-year-old surfer Elio Canestri was tragically killed by a shark that bit his right arm and midsection, causing fatal blood loss.

Shark poses for the camera

As Huge As a Dinosaur


The shark that snatched Lloyd Skinner off the coast of South Africa and took him away was as big as a dinosaur, according to onlookers. All that was left was a sea full of blood after the attack, said a witness.

Shark comes out of the water

Tiger Style


Braxton Rocha had to swim 60 yards to shore in cloudy waters after being bitten while exploring sea caves. He did the entire swim, not knowing when the tiger shark would come back to finish him off. Luckily for him, it didn’t return.

Tiger shark in the ocean

He Barely Survived


Rodney Fox barely survived a shark attack suffered at Aldinga Beach. Though he lived, he had a ripped lung and punctured diaphragm afterward.

Shark attack victim Rodney Fox

Fisherman Becomes the Fish


A shark turned the tables on a fisherman in a violent way in 1965. Fisherman Gordon Holbrook accidentally caught a shark on his hook, only to be pulled into the water and eaten in one of the most famous shark attacks ever recorded.

Shark smiles in the water

Deadly Dive


A double date turned terribly wrong when Robert Pamperin was set upon by a 22-foot shark while diving. His friend looked for him, only to see the huge shark swimming away with part of his body in its mouth.

Shark opening its mouth

Who’s to Blame?


The family of bodyboarder David Lilienfeld blamed National Geographic when a great white dragged him beneath the sea and slaughtered him. The organization had recently chummed the water to draw sharks for a new documentary.

Pair of sharks

Terror in South Australia


A man named Terry Manuel had his legs completely pulled off by a great white who was attacking him as his friends tried to pull him into their boat. One of the truly terrible shark attacks.

Shark breaches the water

Sharkbitten Dentist


Usually having your leg mauled and face bitten would make you an unlucky person, but in the case of dentist Steven Cutbirth, he’s just happy to have survived his bull shark attack.

Shark in the water

Failed Escape


Prison isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a person. An inmate learned that when he tried to swim to land to escape Australia’s Port Arthur prison many years ago. A fellow convict saw him get torn apart by a shark in the water.

Shark swims through the water

That’s a Tough Guy


Navy training got even more difficult when diver Paul de Gelder was attacked by a vicious bull shark during a training exercise. While de Gelder survived, his right leg and hand became shark food.

Paul de Gelder

Most Dangerous Shark


While great white sharks may be the most feared of ocean predators, bull sharks are more aggressive. One targeted 14-year-old Jamie Marie Daigle in Florida and killed her nearly instantly, leaving her family in shock.

Shark with mouth open