Friday, February 20, 2009

Bank Accounts, Shark Attacks Down

Remember a few summers ago when it seemed like everyone you knew was coming home from the beach with a missing arm or leg? Shark attacks were all the rage—more popular than celebrity adoptions or even parachute pants. But like any trend, it’s on the way out. 2008 saw some of the lowest shark attack numbers in years, and biologist George Burgess of the University of Florida thinks it might have something to do with the global economic apocalypse. He says that shark attack rates are directly proportional to the number of people in the water. And since most of us are now struggling to fashion crude outfits from leather straps and old pickle barrels, few people are splurging on beach vacations. "We noticed similar declines during the recession that followed the events of 2001, despite the fact that human populations continued to rise,” Burgess said. If this is the case, then I suppose it’s a silver lining in a very, very dark cloud. But it might also be true that sharks just don’t prefer the taste of poor people, which I’ve been told is an odd mixture of ramen noodles, discount liquor, and cumin. More details here.

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