It was 1974 when the late Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws was published. It became an immediate best seller; its success spun off a hit film that was followed by three sequels. The first Jaws movie was a bona fide blockbuster (at the time the highest-grossing film to date), and four decades later it remains a durable classic.
The sensationalism of a primitive sea creature, capable of evil thoughts and acting on them, attracted a considerable following. Soon an aggregation of Jaws-related merchandise was in the stores, and the Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and Japan built elaborate attractions based on the book and movies.
In the real world of sharks versus man, the actual situation is far from sinister. What sustains part of the mythology is that shark attacks on humans make great news stories. Actually, only four species of sharks are guilty: great white, white tip, tiger, and bull.