Whale shark

Sharks That Probably Won't Eat You

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water – it is!

Most shark species are not the man-eating monsters they are made out to be in so many movies and TV shows. (Thanks a lot, "Jaws"!) To put your mind at ease before your next beach jaunt, here are five of the least-harmful shark species you might encounter in the water.

WHALE SHARK ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images WHALE SHARK The largest known species of fish also happens to be one of the safest to swim with. These gentle giants can grow to 40 feet in length (about as long as a gray whale), feed on plankton and small fish, and are generally indifferent to divers. LEOPARD SHARK ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images LEOPARD SHARK The beautifully patterned leopard shark's natural instinct is to flee from humans. Growing up to 5 feet in length, this tiny shark would rather be left alone than bite off one of your toes.

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ANGEL SHARK Gavin Parsons ANGEL SHARK Angel sharks do not bother humans — unless you step on one. These bizarre-looking creatures like to burrow in the sand and ambush prey that comes swimming by. NURSE SHARK shalamov NURSE SHARK One of the laziest fishes in the ocean, nurse sharks are known for their sluggish nature and can often be found resting motionless in caves or coral reefs. These non-aggressive sharks can grow to 14 feet, but generally ignore humans. BASKING SHARK Corbis/VCG BASKING SHARK Basking sharks are the second-largest known fish in the world and, like their cousins the whale sharks, survive on a plankton-heavy diet. Adults can reach up to 26 feet in length and, while they might look like they can swallow a person whole, do not bother people.

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