Memorial Day serves as the unofficial start of summer for most of
America, with many trekking out to the beach and soaking up some sun. Here at Wonkblog, we’re taking a different sort of trip: a journey through the science of a visit to the beach. It’s not quite seaside reading, but scientists have learned a decent amount about how we change when we’re close to water. So, without further ado, here are a few of their most choice findings.
1. If you get attacked by a shark, you’ll probably live. It’s a bit terrifying that fatalities from from shark attacks hit a 20-year high in 2011, with 12 people across the world dying from encounters with the animals. American tourists can rest slightly assured though, that all of those shark-related fatalities were outside the United States. And, in general, shark attacks actually aren’t fatal. A 2001 review of 86 cases found that 81 percent of those attacked suffered only minor injuries that required “a simple, primary suture,” the researchers said. Take that, Jaws.