The Fearsome Five

Great White Shark Location: Cool coastal waters all around the world. Size: 15 to 20 feet (sometimes more than 20 feet). Great white sharks have attacked and killed more people than any other shark species. They are the largest predatory fish, and can detect a few drops of blood from up to 3 miles away. These predatory machines have powerful jaws filled with over 3,000 razor sharp teeth. But even with the great white's incredible size and ferociousness, they do not sit atop the food chain. In 1997 a boat full of spectators witnessed a killer whale attack, make dinner out of a 10-foot great white shark off the coast of California's Farallon Islands. Eric Cheng /

Hammerhead Shark Location: Temperate and tropical waters worldwide. Size: 13 to 20 feet 500-1,000 pounds. Hammerheads have wide-set eyes which give them superior peripheral vision and allow them to efficiently scan for prey. They are known for using their head to pin stingrays to the bottom of the seafloor before eating them. Scalloped hammerhead sharks school up by the hundreds when migrating. Eric Cheng /
Bull Shark Location: Tropical to Sub-tropical coastal waters worldwide. Also numerous river systems and some freshwater lakes. Size: 7 to 11 feet. Bull sharks are extremely aggressive, and it is not uncommon for a hungry bull shark to attack prey that is larger than itself. Bull sharks also like to swim inland and can tolerate freshwater. They frequently swim up the Amazon River and one bull shark was even found in the Mississippi River as far north as Illinois. Because of these factors, some shark experts believe that the bull shark is the most dangerous shark to man. In New Jersey during the summer of 1916 there were five shark attacks in 12 days, leading to four fatalities. Three of the attacks occurred inshore in the Mawatan Creek. The attacks were originally pinned on the great white shark- this story inspired the movie Jaws years later- but now most experts believe that a bull shark was the real culprit. Eric Cheng /
Blacktip Shark Location: Tropical and Sub-tropical waters, also near river mouths and mangrove bays. Size: 5 to 8 feet. Blacktips ambush schools of prey from below and force them to the surface, like bass chasing shad. While feeding, they commonly leap out of the water spinning on the way down- earning them the nickname spinner shark. This behavior was witnessed in Florida a few weeks ago when a blacktip went airborne only a few hundred feet from shore near some unsuspecting surfers. Eric Cheng /
Tiger Shark Location: Tropical / Sub-Tropical coastal waters, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans Size: 10-16 feet Tiger sharks are the ultimate opportunistic eaters. They commonly eat stingrays, sea snakes, birds, squid and seals. Old tires and a license plate were even found in a dead tiger shark's stomach. The largest tiger shark ever caught weighed 1,780 pounds, and was hauled in by Walter Maxwell in 1964. Amazingly, he hooked the shark while fishing from a pier. He fought the monster for four hours without a harness before one of his buddies was able to gaff it and drag it onto shore. Eric Cheng /

Hell hath no fury like these five sharks hooked.