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Encountering A Shark Might Be Scary, But Do You Know What You Should Really Be Afraid Of?

For my entire life, I've been hesitant to go too far off the shore when I'm at the beach because I fear sharks. A few years ago, I was in Ethiopia and was offered an opportunity to see hippos in the wild, and I was like, "Hell, yeah!" So my husband, our 8-month-old daughter, and I got in an old rickety wood boat (no life jackets, of course) with two guys, one of which had to bail water the whole time, and rode across a lake right into the middle of a herd of hippos, including many babies. At some point, we were pretty much within reach-out-and-touch-them distance. Fortunately for us, it ended well — with us still in the boat — but the likelihood of something bad happening was much higher than me being attacked by a shark while wading into the Pacific Ocean. "Jaws" may seem scary, but there are a lot of animals and other living things far more dangerous than sharks. Here's some perspective.