Here’s how often Americans really die from shark attacks

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Flickr / Oleg.

Imagine being one of the paddle-boarders shown in a video released May 10 by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

It’s a clear, sunny day as you plod along on the water, when suddenly a police helicopter begins circling overhead. Within moments, a man’s voice booms through a loudspeaker.

“Attention in the water, attention in the water: This is the Orange County Sheriff’s department. Be advised state parks is asking us to make an announcement to let you know you are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks,” the voice says. “They are advising that you exit the water in a calm manner.”

The helicopter then flies away, leaving you with this harrowing information.

Maintaining a “calm manner” would be next to impossible as you scramble to shore. However, a look at the statistical likelihood of dying from a shark bite should give you some solace. Sharks injure more people than they kill, but both events are extraordinarily rare – especially compared to other threats that people face.

In 2013, sharks killed only 10 people out of about 7 billion. In 2014, just three people lost their lives to the predators.

The numbers are getting lower each year as more sharks die as by-catch in fishing operations and get hunted for their dorsal fins.

The odds your death will be caused by a shark attack

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A man checks a shark display at the Dubai Mall, UAE.
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Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

Below is the average American’s lifetime odds of death from a shark attack (in bold) compared to other threats we face.

The risks are ordered from the least likely to the most likely causes of death:

    Illegal immigrant terrorist – 1 in 138 million Shark attack – 1 in 8 millionAsteroid strike (regional impact) – 1 in 1.6 million Stinging by hornets, wasps, and bees – 1 in 309,000 Lightning – 1 in 174,00 Bus, train, or streetcar – 1 in 160,000 Earthquake – 1 in 130,000 Dog attack – 1 in 115,000 Legal execution -1 in 111,000 Asteroid strike (global impact) – 1 in 75,000 Cataclysmic storm – 1 in 63,700 Tornado – 1 in 60,000 Terrorism (foreign-born, all forms) – 1 in 45,800 Sharp objects -0 1 in 30,900 Animal attack or accident – 1 in 30,200 Exposure to electricity, radiation, heat, and pressure – 1 in 14,700 Heat wave – 1 in 10,800 Airplane and spaceship incidents – 1 in 9,740 Police/law enforcement – 1 in 8,360 Accidental gunshot – 1 in 7,950 Bicycling – 1 in 4,340 Choking on food – 1 in 3,410 Any force of nature – 1 in 3,120 Assault by sharp object – 1 in 2,450 Fire or smoke – 1 in 1,450 Poisoning (liquid, gas, and solid) – 1 in 1,360 Drowning – 1 in 1,180 Motorcycle – 1 in 949 Walking – 1 in 672 Suffocation (choking, strangulation, blocked airway, etc.) – 1 in 608 Car, van, and truck incidents – 1 in 565 Assault by gun – 1 in 358 Murder – 1 in 249 Falling – 1 in 133 Any motor vehicle incident – 1 in 113 Suicide – 1 in 98 Kidney disease – 1 in 85 Influenza and pneumonia – 1 in 70 Diabetes – 1 in 53 Alzheimer’s disease – 1 in 47 Stroke – 1 in 31 Accidents – 1 in 31 Chronic lung disease – 1 in 27 Any injury – 1 in 21 Cancer – 1 in 7 Heart disease – 1 in 7

These odds above are based on a previous analysis by Business Insider, and the data primarily come from a 2016 report by the National Safety Council and the National Center for Health Statistics’ final 2013 report on causes of death in the US, which was released in February 2016.

However, these odds don’t factor in a person’s individual behaviors, age, sex, location, or other things that can affect risks – they’re averages of the entire US population.