Want to make a (usually) aquatic situation a dangerous nightmare? One way is sharks.
Trapped in the middle of the ocean with no realistic way of making it to civilization, likely go crazy and dehydrate in a couple days? That takes too long? No worries, the ocean is infested with sharks just waiting to devour you. Has the Big Bad got you? He won't shoot, that'd be too fast, he'll instead lower you into a Shark Pool. Want to ruin your show? Do a Shark Jump, or just introduce a Voodoo Shark. Want to cheat? GameShark. Want to ruin someone else's finances? Call in the All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks. Want to do the same but legally? Call in a legal shark.
If you're swimming or anywhere near water, the last thing you want to hear is "shark". In fictionland, or rather fiction-ocean, Sharks are unstoppable sea-monster killing machines which devour everything in sight: fish, seals, people...license plates, car tires, suits of armour, car parts, severed human limbs. Sometimes they'll even attack ships: that's how Badass they are. Most animals eat to live, but sharks live to eat. Sharks are the ultimate Rule of Cool. Perhaps it's because they can sense your bioelectricity, meaning you can never hide from them. Or maybe it's how their mouths are literally lined with hundreds of teeth. Perhaps it's because they have changed very little in the millions of years they existed, invoking a sort of reversed watery version of Everything's Better with Dinosaurs. It doesn't matter, they're the most Badass animal that isn't extinct or made up. If they ever find a way to take to the land or air, it would surely be the end of us all. Really, if Sand Is Water, expect Land Sharks.
(Cool as they are, there are still ways to enhancethem.)
A Super Trope to Megalodon and Shark Man.
Compare Sea Monster (for other scary things in the ocean), Never Smile at a Crocodile (for the rivers-and-lakes counterpart), and Bears Are Bad News. You can relax if there are Heroic Dolphins, though.
Contrast Shamu Fu, the one situation where things may legitimately get better when you add a shark. See also Jump the Shark, in which this trope proved very true for the trope namer, and not in a fictional context.
Ironically, sharks are nowhere near as dangerous as the stereotype makes them out to be. Hundreds of people have been attacked and killed over the last few centuries, but the vast majority of shark species are harmless to humans, with just a handful of species that have been documented to kill, and even then only two (Bull Sharks and Whitetip Reef Sharks) are consistently dangerous. The rate of shark attacks and deaths average out to about a couple of deaths a year, making them less dangerous than elephants, jellyfish, domestic animals like horses and dogs, and the common staircase. In fact, some sharks are surprisingly intelligent and social animals, rather than the mindless omnivores they're portrayed as, and they've taken on a diversity of habitats and body designs beyond the usual torpedo shape.
Shark Fujishiro from My Bride Is a Mermaid is a literal shark with a human guise from a group of mermaid Yakuza. His motto being that all problems can be solved by eating the cause of the chaos. He's constantly trying to eat the main character of the series, Nagasumi. The fact he can turn into a shark on land doesn't help matters much either.
The manga Gyo is about fishes with mechanical legs that crawl out of the ocean and invade the city, infecting the people with poisonous gasses. Needless to say, there is a shark involved, and that's when things get really bad. There is a scene where a shark kicks down a door, with a big GASHUNK sound in the English version. This has become a Motivator meme: "GASHUNK: Clearly the sound a shark makes when it kicks down a door."
Iron Wok Jan: The semifinal battle of the second Tournament Arc has shark as the theme ingredient. The pre-prepared shark meat is unusable. What do you do? Jump into the tank of live sharks also prepared, kick a shark out, and butcher it in front of the audience. Of course after Jan and the rival from China jump into the shark tank to secure their ingredient, one of the other contestants realizes that it would be easier to just smash the glass walls of the shark tank to drain all the water out of it.
In the early manga, Ranma and Cologne fight at the beach and in the ocean. When Cologne touches down lightly on the surface of the water, everyone is astonished at how an Old Master can find footing even on a floating twig. Turns out she landed on top of a great white shark, which she somehow commandeers to do her bidding. It doesn't end well for the shark when Ranma goes into the Cat-Fist, though. The anime, for some reason, traded the beach fight (the final part of the Phoenix Pill storyline) for a fight in the mountains; apparently, they figured Cologne using telekinesis to fling showers of ice boulders would be more dramatic.
Both the manga and an anime episode have Akane accepting Principal "Nutjob" Kunô's offer to teach her how to swim. Plan 1: strap a big boulder to her back and toss her into the pool... which is currently home to a four-meter-long shark.
Unlike the animal stereotype, though, Kisame seems rather played straight. He seems to have a good sense of humor, is definitely the most mentally sound of the Akatsuki, and has a certain joie-de-vivre that his partner needed to pick up on (and on the note of his partner... Kisame seems to have been more of a father toward Itachi than Fugaku). In general, he is a polite, intelligent, and a very social man... however, his mere presence seems to announce "You lose," with natural chakra reserves rivaling the Jinchuriki, who host 100-meter-tall chakra demons. Until even more fittingly he meets Killer Bee... who has octopus traits.
Kisame's shark appearance takes on even greater meaning when you consider his backstory. He kills all his comrades so that they won't get captured and interrogated by Ibiki, then kills his superior, the previous wielder of Samehada, for selling him out. After being paired with Akatsuki, he notes that they were put together because both had killed their comrades, noting how sharks' offspring kill and eat each other.
Of all the Fishmen, the shark ones are definitely the worst to run into. Arlong, the Big Bad of the East Blue arc, is a sawshark.
Jinbei who is definitely making everything worse for the World Government by teaming up with Luffy and Crocodile is a whale shark. He soon inverts this trope, summoning a whole school of friendly, grinning whale sharks to carry the escaped prisoners to safety. Not much of a surprise, since whale sharks can't eat most mammals — they feed on krill, instead.
Now things are even worse with Hordy Jones' crew, which has four different shark Fishmen, Jones himself being a great white shark.
Add on Captain of the Flying Dutchman, Van Der Decken IX, who is a bullhead shark. Not as fearsome as a great white, but he seems to be the main villain of this arc.
The trope is also inverted by Prince Fukaboshi, a shark merman (unspecified, which is odd considering Oda's penchant for classifying his mer/fishpeople) who the Strawhats assume is there to give them trouble and run away... when he intended to personally invite them to the royal palace and give Luffy a message from Jinbei.
BrokenGao in GaoGaiGar FINAL forms the right shoulder of Genesic GaoGaiGar and represents destruction in all its glory.
Averted in Transformers: Robots In Disguise with Sky-Byte. While one of the Predacons, Sky-Byte is an aspiring poet and quite fond of humans — between these and various comedic appearances, he's something of an Ensemble Dark Horse. He's also the only one of the Predacons or Decepticons to escape at the end of the series, so everything pretty much works out for him.
Hayate the Combat Butler: While Sakuya's Titanic was sinking, an already-wounded Hayate swam in the frigid water to push a raft holding Isumi to safety. Then the sharks attacked him.... But all betswere off when he saw one of them attack Nagi.
In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure part 5, the situation is played straight with Clash, a Stand that takes the form of a metallic shark with three eyes. Its power is teleport from one body of water (or other mostly-water liquid like a bowl of soup or glass of wine), capture its targets, and drag them along on the teleporting trips (where, if Squalo isn't stopped quickly enough, they'll drown). And Clash's user works with someone whose Stand, Talking Heads, inflicts Tongue Tied - so even if you see the shark, you can't tell anyone.
In Blue Submarine No. 6, not only is there an antagonist who is a shark-person but it seems as though his main mode of transportation is built on a WHALE SHARK.
Agito from Air Gear has sharks as his animal motifs. He's brutal in battle.
Inverted in Nichijou. Ask the Professor, and she'll tell you Everything's Better with Sharks.
Ryoga "Shark" Kamishiro of Yu Gi Oh ZEXAL, introduced as the school bully and a major Jerkass. He also uses a marine deck, including sharks. Later inverted after he joins Yuma's group.
Played with in Kyo Kara Maoh Yuuri is transported into the middle of an ocean and appears to be under attack by a shark. It turns out that sharks in the other world are friendly vegetarians.
The Giant Shark and Hammerhead Shark from Magic: The Gathering. Unfortunately, since they're sharks, they can only attack if the opposing planeswalker is near a body of water (i.e. they have islands). And since your character is a planeshifting physical god, you can turn your opponents' lands into islands with certain spells.
Water Baby revolves around this. Brody was a surfer, one day she was riding the waves and a shark confused her with something edible. Bit off her leg up the knee and went his merry way... while Brody was left bleeding her life out, she got better but now she has nightmares of sharks, and now so do you.
A story arc of Fallen Angel has a shark goring Jude's leg... in the middle.
The old British comic Action had a serial called Hook Jaw. The title character was a great white shark. None of the other characters lasted more than one story... Well, except for the token good human in the first story, though even he got eaten alive about two thirds of the way through the second story.
Batman even keeps Shark-Repellent Bat-Spray in his utility belt!
There's also the Batman villain Great White, a former "white collar criminal". It started as a nickname due to his shady financial practices. However he gets sent to Arkham and, well... let's just say he ends up with an Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance.
In Watchmen, the cast-away of the comic within a comicTales of the Black Freighter suffers from this. Not only he has to escape from the island in a raft made of the bodies of his partners, he also has to fight several sharks.
Barracuda from MAX series, a badass hitman, manages to win a brutal fight with the Punisher. Instead of just shooting him, Barracuda throws him into the ocean with a bleeding gangster and a Great White.
An earlier oneshot had a villain attempt to shoot Castle, who was standing in front of an Aquarium shark tank. Castle dived out of the way, and somehow, the handgun bullets managed to shatter the tank and send an angry shark right at the gangster.
Iron Man, or rather Tony Stark seeing he was out of his armour, was dumped into shark-infested waters once. He proceeded to fight a great white, bite into it to get it to start bleeding, which drew the other sharks in order to attack it.
Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods: Oh, so the Big BadNazi has Indy at gunpoint in a seized ship miles away from the nearest coast. If he kills him there nobody will know. But does he shoot him? Naaah, that would be too easy. Better drop him in a lifeboat with no oars to starve or die of dehydration. But wait, that would be too slow. Shoot the boat with a machine gun so it'll sink sooner or later. Enough? Nope, make a cut on the Girl of the Week's arm and kick her into the water so sharks will smell her blood and do a Zerg Rush to the area. And if loads and loads of sharks aren't scary enough, don't worry, a massive Great White will show up to teach them the job.
In Wonder Woman, the island of Themiscyra is protected by Megalodons, who are good and even offer themselves up for a Heroic Sacrifice to save the island on one occasion.
DC Comics also gives us the character King Shark, the son of the Hawaiian shark god (we're assuming Ka-moho-ali'i). He's capable of regeneration, which is good because Jeanette of Secret Six breaks his jaw and rips off his arm.
One of the "possible" stories included in Hack/Slash: Trailers feature a slasher shark named Blackfin, who was big enough to devour the great white mistaken for him in one bite.
Aquaman can command anything in the ocean. If he's feeling generous, he'll just send dolphins, whales and giant squid to beat you up and ensnare you. If he's not, he breaks out the sharks. Get him in a bad mood, and you can have sharks andEldritch Abominations up your ass.
German comic Haiopeis.
Tintin: Subverted in Red Rackham's Treasure, where Professor Calculus builds a small submarine in the shape of a shark. Haddock first sees it when trying to take a potshot at a bunch of circling sharks.
In an issue of X-Force, an alternate universe version of Nightcrawler confronted the Blob from the same universe, during a battle in an underwater base. While at first the Blob looked like winning, Nightcrawler got some outside help - he teleported a passing shark into the Blob's stomach.
The Far Side practically predicted this entry and its terrestrial counterpart, with a strip showing a shark attempting to scare humans into the water by yelling "Bear!"
From Chapter 12 of Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814, there's Nanoha's "Bruce" construct, a giant hundred meter long green shark with whirring chainsaw teeth and insides that look like a nightmare of spinning cutting rings.
From Divine Blood, Naiki Satomi, the daughter of Ranma Saotome and Poseidon has an affinity for sharks right down to a mouth full of sharp teeth. She is the most obviously reckless of the three Satomi siblings and, especially in early chapters, sometimes has a tendency to make situations worse by sheer accident. However, she is described as having a cute smile despite having a carnivore's dental work. In battle against her father, she summons a megalodon and a swarm of other sharks to fight him.
Late in Christian Humber Reloaded, the main character meets a shark/human hybrid named Chridion. Chridion manages the improbable feat of gaining the upper hand against the God-Mode Sue protagonist for most of the fight, largely due to his superior speed and Shoulder Cannon, only conceding defeat when Vash powers up enough to almost destroy the world.
A Growing Affection changes Kisame's back story (or arguably was Jossed) to make him instead Jinchuriki of the Seven-Fins Shark, and Samehada is made from a strip of the demon's skin.
Films — Animation
Shark Tale, obviously by its name. Features a subversion of this trope though, a vegetarian shark who actually gets nauseated at the very taste of a fish.
Another one for sharks that don't eat everything in sight, Finding Nemo. Not quite vegetarians, it's hinted that they eat dolphins, and they have a "slip" every now and then and eat a fish. The heroes run into three, including one named Bruce, a Shout-Out to the Jaws prop.
In the Pixar short Partly Cloudy (shown before Up), living clouds make human babies, puppies, kittens, etc., who are delivered by Delivery Storks. There's also a rain cloud who specializes in... slightly less adorable critters, and his stork seriously begins to regret their partnership when the rain cloud presents him with a model shark (which is bigger than the stork).
Bait 3 D: A tsunami engulfs an Australian beach town, and a handful of survivors are trapped in an underground convenience store. Then they discover that a great white shark is there with them, which starts picking them off one by one.
Batman: The Movie: While investigating a yacht at sea, Batman is attacked by a shark. After he uses Bat Shark Repellent to make it let go of him, it falls into the water and explodes: one of the villains had planted a bomb in it.
The Beach: In this film, the seemingly idyllic youth community is revealed to be anything but when one of the members is gored by a shark.
Blue Water, White Death: This 1971 documentary, for its name alone.
Deep Blue Sea: Has super-intelligent sharks. If there's one creature you do not want to give super-intelligence to, you'd think it'd be sharks, but hey, there you go. (They're smart enough to know what dramatic irony is.) The official explanation was that making sharks super-intelligent would cure Alzheimer's. No, really. Most notable is how the character played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson is eaten by one of these sharkswhile indoors. To be specific, the scientists were extracting some kind of fluid from the sharks' brains for their research. They genetically modified them to grow larger brains so they could extract more fluid. Of course, larger brains also meant smarter sharks.
And in Never Say Never Again, SPECTRE villainess Fatima Blush plants a homing device on James Bond that will summon sharks to attack him.
Jaws: This series is built on this trope. So much that it encouraged real-life humans to wage a full-out war and hunt and eat sharks to endangered status.
Jersey Shore Shark Attack
Jumper: One of the teleporting Jumpers assassinates the Paladins by dumping them at sea surrounded by sharks.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: Subverted/parodied in the second movie, where being surrounded by sharks, Lara Croft punches one in the nose and proceeds to ride it to the surface.
Lethal Weapon 4: Has caught a small shark (alive) while out fishing with the heroes. When their boat sinks, the shark escapes; rather than booking it for the horizon, as any sensible animal would do, its fin is shown lingering near the swimming characters to add menace to the scene.
Le Magnifique: This French movie, a parody of spy flicks, begins with a spy character "eaten by a shark while in a phone booth." Yes, that's how it is actually described in the movie. To be more specific, the phone booth was lifted up by a helicopter with the spy inside, dropped into the sea, and then a caged shark was freed to attack him while still in the phone booth. Hard to top as a needlessly complicated execution method....
Mako, the Jaws of Death
My Super Ex-Girlfriend: The title ex-girlfriend throws a shark at the protagonist. The protagonist is in his new girlfriend's bedroom at the time. Several stories up in an apartment building.
Open Water: The first film, anyway. Slight subversion, since nothing bad happens the first time a shark appears. The problem is later when it, presumably, gets curious and comes back... with friends. From then on, it just gets worse. Also notable is the fact that not only are the sharks all real (even the ones interacting with the actors), but are all species one would have a reasonably good chance of encountering in Real Life, compared to, say, the more-famous-but-rarer great white.
The Reef: This Aussie film features four tourists forced to swim to an island ten miles away when their boat capsizes. Through a known shark zone. And yes they do encounter great white sharks.
Revolution 2012: Averted Trope. Rob Stewart and an assistant are in the water with sharks at the start of the Documentary and nothing bad happens to them.
There have been times when this channel has shown several movies of sharks attacking people back to back. Megaladons (giant prehistoric sharks) are quite often involved, e.g.. Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus.
Incidentally, if the title has Shark vs. anything, it's probably by Asylum — if they make anything that isn't a Mockbuster or a bad Christian flick, it's a giant shark fighting something else equally nasty.
Mega Shark has returned to face off against another giant prehistoric predator: Crocosaurus.
Shark Night 3D: Obviously centers on this trope. A group of college students spend a weekend at a lake which has inexplicably become home to various man-eating species of sharks. The kicker? The sharks were supplied by a couple of rednecks who want to cash in on the Discovery Channel's Shark Week craze...by feeding college students to the sharks, and recording video footage of the attacks to post online, sell to various channels, etc.
Yellowbeard: This pirate comedy plays with this when the title character's wife is taken captive by the Royal Navy and pumped for information offscreen; when she's ready to talk, she says, "I think it was that shark that jogged my memory." "The Shark" is the handsome sailor (David Bowie in a cameo) who brings her into the office, who has a shark's fin strapped to his back; he "jogged her memory" via sex.
In Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent, the wizards, out at sea, see one. One wizard starts to burble about how they are maligned, and list all their wonderful attributes. Unfortunately, it's the list about wolves, not sharks.
The second Young Wizards novel has a ninety-foot long shark as a major character. While he doesn't make things worse for the good guys, he definitely makes things worse for the bad guys. Note that he's not a great white: he's older than that SPECIES of shark, considering that, you know, he was the original shark to accept the first Silent One's sacrifice.
In The Princess Bride, when Buttercup tries to swim away from the ship, Vizzini warns her that, unless she comes back immediately, he will cut his arms and legs and draw blood into a cup and throw it into the water "and sharks can smell blood in the water for miles and you won't be beautiful for long." She doesn't, he does, the sharks go mad, and the narrator interrupts to say that, of course, Buttercup doesn't get eaten at that time. (The movie replaced the sharks with shrieking eels.)
The finale of Deception Point takes place on a marine biologist's rig over a massive swarm of sharks. Some baddies do find their way in, naturally.
Towards the end of Red Storm Rising, a Soviet pilot and an American one, both of whose planes went down during the big dogfight when NATO retook Iceland, bring their life rafts together to take advantage of the American's shark repellent. The Soviet pilot voices a distinct unease with being devoured by "a carnivorous fish".
At one point in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Captain Nemo invites Professor Arronax on an underwater stroll to visit a pearl fishery, and then mentions the prospect of sharks. This makes the professor quite nervous: "So there I was, daydreaming about sharks capable of cutting a man in two with their row upon row of teeth. I could already feel a pain in my side." Talking to his friends a few minutes later, he accidentally speaks of "a hundred and fifty sharks" instead of "a hundred and fifty pearls."
I slept rather badly. Sharks played an important role in my dreams.
This trope is invoked as early as the fourth book. That's when the kids morph dolphin and end up on the wrong end of a battle with sharks, leaving Marco almost bitten in half. Dealing with the intrinsic fear of sharks the experience left him with is a major plot point in The Escape.
In The Escape, fifteenth book in the series, it is revealed that Yeerks have established an underwater base where they capture hammerhead sharks and implant brain-controlling chips in their heads to turn them into shock troopers for an invasion of an alien aquatic world inhabited by psychic man-frogs... The brain-controlling chips are mostly intended to make them smarter... smart enough to hunt in packs, like wolves do. Also to enlarge their earholes for even more convenient brain control. The Animorphs later go to said alien world morphed into hammerheads themselves. It proves to be an inspired choice.
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall features a "purely conceptual" shark that swims through memes, eating memories and identities.
Jaws, the original book by Peter Benchley. Benchley also wrote White Shark, about a genetically-engineered Half-Human Hybrid Nazi shark. A keen environmentalist, he later regretted his contribution to the Threatening Sharks trope, and wrote several nonfiction books about sharks and their important place in the ecosystem.
Sharks often show up during the seafaring scenes. In The Bellmaker, Finbarr Galedeep sings a silly song about sharks, and later that evening a very worried Rufe Brush comes and asks him what a shark looks like. He tells him that mostly all you'll see is a big pointy fin, to which Rufe responds "Does it look like this one circling our ship, sir?"
And in Triss, Krrova, Scarum and Saxtus run across a shark at least twice.
Subverted in Codex Alera. At one point, Captain Demos mentions that sharks are likely to be more of a problem to a group of swimmers than leviathans... But when a shark messes with Isana, she throws it bodily out of the water and up twenty feet onto the deck of a pirate ship.
Played straight in the book before that, when Tavi had his army dump the blood and guts from butchered animals in the river when he was defending a bridge, attracting sharks from miles downstream and ensuring that any Canim attempting to swim around the bridge wouldn't make it very far.
While rescuing a drowning man — in the middle of a verysurprising discovery — Mau is forced to confront a hungry shark. He wins, too.
First Mate Cox would almost certainly have died from that axe in his chest, but just to be sure he gets eaten by sharks, too.
The general idea behind Steve Alten's Meg series of novels.
Subverted in Sergey Volnov's Army of the Sun, where sharks and whales have been artificially given intelligence and develop Psychic Powers. The sharks actually become deeply philosophical, benign creatures, able to open portals from one planet to another, as long as both feature large bodies of seawater.
Charlie the intelligent, bipedal, amorphous mutated great white in Slimer.
Redshirts has ice sharks, though the characters can't figure out whether they're sharks made of ice or sharks living in ice; all they know is that some hapless crewmember got eaten by one.
Shark Wars, a book series by E. J. Altbacker is about a shark named Gray and his fellow shark friends as they defend their home waters from their enemies.
In Star Island, Bang Abbott lured a pack of hungry lemon sharks to a crowded beach so he could take a lucrative photograph of the ensuing mayhem. The discovery of his unethical scheme forced him out of newspapers and into tabloid photography, where he shows similar poor judgment.
Cretaceous-era sharks in Dinoverse cause some apprehension - Janine notices an Ischyrhizz and thinks "Oh, good. A killing machine with a Ginsu knife attachment. Mother Nature must have been in a funny mood when she came up with that one" - but the real danger is from the Elasmosaurus and Mososaurus lurking in that same ocean, picking off said sharks when the whim takes them.
In Balefire by Ken Goddard, a terrorist is planning to infiltrate the United States by swimming from a cargo ship, which is being followed by a shark feeding off the garbage thrown from the vessel. At first the terrorist is amused by the shark and even feeds it to stave off the boredom of the voyage, but as the time for his infiltration grows near he realises that the shark is being conditioned to regard anything thrown overboard as food. He becomes increasingly paranoid as the shark keeps following them even after he orders the crew to stop disposing of their garbage, and eventually has to resort to shooting it.
As Jeff Corwin oh so eloquently explained about any sane animal's reaction to this trope: "If you wanna get them all out of the water and onto the beach all you gotta do is go like this...SHARK! SHARK!"
The Bionic Woman episode "Deadly Music". A villain plants a homing device on Jaime Sommers that will summon sharks to attack her. Hey, wait a minute!
"Adrift", the second episode of LOST's second season, features Michael and Sawyer stuck on tiny remnants of their exploded raft. Sawyer's gunshot wound eventually attracts a shark, because of course floating in the middle of the ocean on scraps of bamboo isn't jeopardy enough! At one point, Sawyer tries to get from one raft to another, with the shark nearby, which may have been a play on the phrase Jump the Shark.
Discovery Channel's Shark Week deserves a mention, since that wouldn't exist if sharks weren't so badass and awesome.
On said network, the MythBusters have done multiple shark myths rooted both in real life anecdotes and popular fiction. Fun fact: MythBuster team member Grant Imahara is absolutely terrified of sharks. Naturally, he gets to be the one who goes into the water for every myth involving sharks.
The Decade net movies claim that Kamen Rider Faiz's suit is partly shark-inspired (hence the sawtooth pattern on the mouthpiece). However, in this case it's a subversion, as Faiz is the main character and is (typically) wielded by a good guy.
The shark-based monster in episode 36 of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger may be a Monster of the Week like usual, but it delivers a very brutal beatdown within that brief time. One hero gets sent sliding across the floor after his weapon is smashed.
Subverted on Walking with Dinosaurs. During "Cruel Sea", there are plenty of sharks (called Hybodus) about, but they aren't the top predator. That would be Liopleurodon, one of the few creatures that is proven to always make things even worse than they are with sharks. How much worse? Try 21 ft aquatic reptilian killing machine with a combined jaw size of just under 9.5 ft. Run.
Sea Monsters has sharks as well. Stethacanthus in the Devonian barely even registers as a threat. There's also the obligatory Megalodon in the Pliocene. (For reference, the babies are the size of an adult Great White.) The Jurassic still has Hybodus, and the Cretaceous has more sharks that barely register as a threat. There are also Xiphactinus (a.k.a. The Ugliest Fish in History) and giant mosasaurs, just to make the sharks look irrelevant.
In The Future Is Wild, a distant-future flooded Earth has as its top predator a charming critter called the Sharkopath, a highly intelligent aquatic pack hunter that communicates with its packmates using flashes of bioluminescence.
In the Doctor Who episode "A Christmas Carol", the Doctor and young Kazran nearly get eaten by a shark (that swims in the fog). Subverted in that the shark apparently isn't as vicious as it seems: the Doctor, in true Cloud Cuckoolander fashion, harnesses it to a flying sleigh and goes for a joyride.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has an episode where a tiger shark was released into a swimming pool full of people and bit a woman's arm off, but it turned out she was already dead.
CSI: Miami has several episodes investigating victims of sharks.
Played straight in one episode of H2O: Just Add Water, subverted in another. This show's version of Driven to Suicide has Cleo swim into the middle of a known shark breeding ground (don't worry, she lives). Another episode has Rikki deciding to enter a short film competition about heroes and make the film about sharks. Because she is a mermaid she is able to get much closer to sharks in their natural habitat with a camera than professionals (she can't use the footage however for the same reasons). When Zane runs into sharks Rikki simply uses her powers to heat up the water and scare them off.
In the Haven episode "Over My Head", a woman named Daphne is trapped in a crashed car at low tide, while a shark circles and waits for the tide to rise so it can reach her. Her Trouble causes her to manifest these dangers to people she believes might rescue her. As such, an imaginary shark gobbles a woman in a pool, among other, less immediately fatal occurences.
The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries: the third season episode Last Kiss of Summer has one of the bad guys trying to kill off Frank Hardy by taking him surfing at a university breeding area for great whites.
John Tenta was billed as the Shark as a member of the Dungeon of Doom in WCW from June 1995 until Big Bubba shaved off half of Tenta's hair to kick him out of the group in June 1996. His ring gear had a shark design and he had shark "teeth" painted onto his beard. His Finishing Move was a running clothesline called the Shark Attack, and he would sometimes "bite" his opponents.
Minor historical tidbit: The totemic animal of Clan Sea Fox got all but wiped out by a new predator introduced into its native oceans by a rival Clan. The Sea Foxes turned insult into opportunity and simply adopted said predator as their new totem instead; today, they're known as Clan Diamond Shark. The Diamond Sharks somewhat subvert this however; they generally would rather do business with you than fight you and treat their civilians well by Clan standards.
The Rim Worlds Republic played it straight; their government was often brutal and they eventually gave rise to an Evil Chancellor who would destroy the Star League and plunge human space into 300 years of war. The symbol of the RWR? A shark.
The monster called the Bulette... better known as the "land shark". (Complete with fin cutting through the surface of the ground as it burrows toward you...)
D&D also has sharks that live in acid and lava. Because even when you're drowning in acid or lava, sometimes it's just too easy. The monster entry for the Acid Shark sums it up pretty well: "What's worse than a pit full of acid? A pit full of acid with a shark in it."
It also has regular sharks, the megalodon (giant prehistoric shark) and weresharks as well as Sekolah, the sahuagin deity in the form of a giant shark. The Sahuagin themselves are sometimes depicted as basically resembling humanoid sharks.
The Hero Clix miniatures game set of Arkham Asylum had a figure of Black Manta, who while being a decent playing piece, was pushed into the category of awesome by having his sculpt feature him surfing on the head of a shark with frikkin' laser beam on its head.
Infernum has Obsidian Sharks, Spawn (a sort of proto-lifeform) that look like sharks made from living volcanic rock which swim through the seas and rivers of flame, magma and molten metal that flow just about everywhere in Hell. And, as Spawn, kill one, and more will promptly tear their way out of its carcass and attack you.
In Chaosium's Stormbringer supplement Demon Magic, the adventure "Sorcerer's Isle" had a megalodon that could sink ships by biting through their hulls.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Rokea, the weresharks. The Garou serve as Gaia's warriors on land, and the Rokea serve as her warriors at sea. Only since most of them spend all their time away from humanity, they seem a little... off.
LEGO's much earlier Aquazone set-line had the classis Aquasharks as the villains for a time.
Meta example: The Beast Machines Hammerstrike toy (hammerhead shark beast mode) has elbow joints prone to cracking at the sockets, rendering both modes unworkable (each forearm has half the shark mode's lower jaw).
Sharpedo. (It doesn't help that its pre-evolved form is a piranha.) Huge attack power and nice speed, but in return it dies from the weakest Electric attack (Though it can learn Destiny Bond to take advantage of this).
There's also the hammerhead land shark/dragon Gible family, consisting of Gible, Gabite and Garchomp, the last of which has phenomenal attacking power, blinding speed, and decent defenses as well. It also has a respectable movepool. It's sufficiently powerful enough that some parts of the competitive battling community have moved it from standard play to the "Uber"tier. The threatening part mostly comes from its battle prowess, though, as it's often shown to be capable of being a friendly Pokemon (Unlike the aforementioned Sharpedo).
In X and Y, Garchomp has a Mega-Evolution, which can potentially make it into an even more threatening shark if it has the proper support, as while it gets significantly stronger in almost every regard, it loses out on speed, which can open it up to being defeated by numerous Pokemon who wouldn't be able to handle its normal form.
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness also has a land shark dragon in the form of the Serpent monster class (Or shark dragon, as it was more appropriately called in Japanese), though it's considerably more shark-like in appearance (But still remarkably similar to the aforementioned Garchomp). It's also one of the stronger monster types, boasting a high attack stat and good values in everything else, and it flies for some of its special attacks. It later makes an appearance as an enemy in the second Prinny game (Where it's now properly called a shark dragon), and returns as an unit in Disgaea Dimension 2.
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has Sammy (he's called Same in Japanese, which literally means shark), the land shark/news reporter. He's one of Plenair's friends, and appears in her third attack in Dark Hero Days.
The first, Clanker, is a subversion; he's an ally of the titular characters, and being "swallowed" by him (or entering his stomach via his gills, or dropping down his blowhole) don't harm you in any way, and indeed is required to get a Jiggy. He's a mechanical shark that floats in one place and eats garbage by grinding it up. No need to worry about any biology failings there.
The second example is played straight. Snacker lives in Treasure Trove Cove, and will spawn anytime you fall into the water and will bite at you until you return to shore... or die. He also has a message every time he spawns about how much he'll love eating you. He can be killed with ordinary attacks, but that will only save you for that time in the ocean. Go in the ocean again, and he'll be back like nothing ever happened. Snacker also shows up in Rusty Bucket Bay. In oily water that makes Banjo suffocate on the surface.
Played with in Super Mario RPG. Jonathan Jones and his minions are sharks and you have to fight them for a Star Piece. However, once you win, they cool off and become nice guys, even helping you when another baddie tries to take the Star Piece you just won.
The shark noise in The World Ends with You. Furthermore the Swing Shark of Week 1 Day 4 provides the first Player Punch of the game by killing off Rhyme, Beat's partner, during a sneak attack at Towa Records.
Sharks are, of course, some of Ecco's natural enemies, and tough ones, to boot. One of the crazier levels from the first game is Open Ocean: you, a lone little dolphin, vs. about a million sharks, with nowhere to hide. The Open Ocean is cold and dangerous.
The second game turns this on its head at points by transforming Ecco into a shark, mostly so you can rampage about the level eating everything.
The Playstation entry to the series, Defender of the Future, ups the ante to including a boss fight with a shark capable of devouring you whole. (Ramping up the insanity factor? In order to hurt him, first you have to swipe a power-up right from out of his mouth.)
The Japan-exclusive game Fighting Layer a.k.a. Where Blair Dame'sBus Stopped features a shark as one mid-level boss that you must defeat to move on. It's as hard as you might imagine, but the satisfaction of leaping into its tank and clobbering a shark on its own turf simply is too awesome for words. Oh sure, Ryu and Akuma might act grumpy, throw fireballs and yell a lot, but how many sharks have they kicked the crap out of? That's right, none.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has the Gyorg, which is very shark-like and competes with the Seahat for title of "most annoying enemy". Both have the distinction of being in a position to knock you into the water, where you cannot fight and must (find and) get back into the boat. Sometimes it's not a second later that they knock you right back in again. Grrr!
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has sharks show up whenever you step off the beach into deep enough water; you can encounter entire schools of them this way. They'd be far, far more intimidating if they weren't each a One-Hit-Point Wonder...
The strongest monster in zOMG! is the Landshark, affectionately referred to as Landy by many players. And Bruce by the devs. The April Fool's 2009 event also resulted in the "Airshark" meme.
Firaxen sharks, a.k.a. firaxa, on those underwater levels of Manaan. You can one-hit-kill them, but: you are in a pressure suit at the bottom of the ocean, which slows your movements to a torturous crawl. The suit and the water pressure mean that you can't use any of your usual weapons or Force abilities. The sonic emitter is your only weapon, and although you can fire it repeatedly in quick succession, it only works at close range. When the firaxa notice you, they immediately glide after you, mouths open, and that's the only time you can strike. Sometimes you don't get the chance to see them coming.
There's also the Progenitor, the giant firaxan whose cry drove the smaller firaxa into a frenzy and made the Selkath researchers on that underwater base homicidally insane. She's not actually evil, though, and if the machinery is destroyed she lets you pass. Poisoning her means dooming pretty much the entire biosphere.
Jaws Unleashed is an alright-to-downright-terrible sandbox adventure game, based on the movie Jaws. The upshot? You play as the Great White Shark. Controls are a mess and it is sometimes frustrating, but still you play as the great white shark. And you can kill/destroy everything from seals, to smaller sharks, to whales, to fishing boats, to a fricking oil platform! There were also less thrilling Jaws games for the NES and PC.
There's a few sharks, generally patrolling the border between shallow sea (where players can swim) and deep ocean (where they can drown of fatigue). In classic Azeroth, most sharks are elite (and thus very strong, but killable), but the coasts of Northrend (WotLK expansion) have many non-elite sharks. Their level and variety differs depending on the level of the zone where you are.
Also the immense raid boss shark named Maws. He's gained a Cataclysm cousin in Gnaws, who has a model more closely resembling a real-life great white shark.
Unfortunately they have failed biology forever in Cataclysm by having the patrolling gigantic shark that keeps you from swimming into certain areas be a whale shark — long noted as one of the gentlest things in the ocean, which eats krill. This is a shark known for not only letting divers swim around it, but specifically folding its fins back (even when it inconveniences the whale shark) to avoid running into them. Why they didn't create a fictional shark type for this (Dragon Shark anyone? Or maybe Wyrm Shark?) we may never know.
The Whale Shark actually is quite docile: it doesn't aggro unless you attack it, now Mobus <The Crushing Tide>, which shares a model and animations with the Whale Shark, is incredibly hostile: If you enter its waters and it's there (it's a rare mob), be prepared for a boss fight or be prepared to die.
Considering that Azeroth's oceans contain many huge and frightening beasts, monsters, humanoids, and abominations, carnivorous whale sharks are the most mundane seagoing terror. Hell, in Vashj'ir the whale sharks share the waters (and "giant OHKO-ing beasts" title) with a titanic eel and a monstrous leviathan.
Then there is Epicus Maximus which is almost certainly an inversion of this trope.
In "Shark Tank" one of the Tol Barad Peninsula daily quests, players are sent to fight a shark named Tank. Tank has over 450,000 HP and as possibly the strongest quest boss in Tol Barad, generally requires a group of two or three people to kill. If players have the "Captain P. Harris" or "Boosting Morale" quests, they will also have to avoid him while going after the captain or the rum, and the questgiver admits to being scared of the shark in the latter.
GLaDOS: Excellent! You're a predator, and these tests are your prey. Speaking of which, I was researching sharks for an upcoming test. Do you know who else murders people who are only trying to help them? Did you guess 'sharks?' Because that's wrong. The correct answer is "nobody". Nobody but you is that pointlessly cruel.
The Big Bad in Crayola Treasure Adventure is a shark pirate.
Miami Shark, a Flash game on Newgrounds where you play as a shark who eats people and animals, makes boats explodes and pulls down things from helicopters to a stealth bomber. It has a sequel set in Sydney. And somehow, the Shark manages to get at Koalas, Kangaroos and a nuke.
Naturally, you can summon sharks in Scribblenauts. A single Scribblenauts shark is enough to defeat Cthulhu. You can also summon Megalodon.
In Hitman: Blood Money, 47 sets a lady on fire at a party. She then manages to fall into a shark pool and the crowd applauds 47. And the more corpses you throw in that tank, the bigger that shark gets.
Wacky Wheels has Razer the shark. Just like everybody else, he runs over hedgehogs and throws them at other racers.
The Endless Ocean franchise features many, many types of sharks. In the first game, they're all harmless, but Magu Tapah (a very large great white) is good old-fashioned Nightmare Fuel. In the sequel, Blue World, the carnivorous species will now attack you, and the new "special" shark — this one named Thanatos — cranks Magu Tapah's scariness Up to Eleven.
Illusion of Gaia subverts this when Will and Kara's raft is circled by sharks, only to have them swim away without attacking, leading Kara to conclude they aren't hungry because (she believes) only humans hunt for sport.
Monster Hunter Tri has the Sharq, which inhabits the waters on the northern end of the Deserted Island area. A subversion in that they don't make things worse, and only attack when you invade their territory.
Played straight in the fourth game with the Squagill and Zaboazagiru, amphibious shark monsters. The former is the not-particularly threatening juvenile version of the latter; smaller ones attempting to latch onto hunters and drain their body fluids, growing larger and sprouting legs if not shaken off quickly, afterwhich they'll instead attack with bites and blasts of water. The latter positively dwarfs its smaller kin, and fights mostly with biting attacks and water blasts. It also isn't above swallowing you whole if given the chance, which cues Smashing Survival to get it to spit you out before it runs down your health by smashing its belly into the ground repeatedly (Though it has the decency to still do so even if you get KO'd). Bizarrely, it can also inflate itself like a pufferfish, during which time it'll use its now spherical body to perform bouncing and rolling attacks.
Scarface: The World is Yours has sharks in the ocean, which appear if you swim for too long. You get treated to a scene of Tony floating, looking about, then getting mauled by a shark that literally comes out of nowhere. You've Fucked Up.
In King's Quest IV: The Perils Of Rosella you are a princess trapped on an island. You may swim to a few limited locations, but it takes a lot of trial and error, swim into the wrong screen and Jaws music starts and you get mowed over by a shark fin. Que the Have a Nice Death screen. This is especially unnerving when you're going at top speed. That fin comes out of nowhere!
The Red Alert series has the aptly-named Akula (Shark) subs. Some Game Mods add actual sharks into the games, like Mental Omega for Yuri's Revenge and Red Alert 3: Paradox has sharks with radiation guns.
Of course you can't forget the Kirov Airship, a flying shark that drops bombs.
E.V.O.: Search for Eden has the Kuraselache, King of the Sea, as the antagonists for the last part of the first epoch, the Age of Fish. The Mook Kuraselache are about your size and are annoying, but their leader is three times your size, attacks by biting, body-slamming and slapping you with his tail, and doesn't want the world above the water to become inhabitable. As the first major boss and, he's tough. Later on in the final epoch, you meet normal enemy versions of King Kuraselache in the Rogon section, who are still annoying but nowhere near as strong since you're far more evolved now.
The game has a few sharks of various power. In Erud's Crossing, the Killer Sharks are especially deadly, since not only are they in the mid-40s, but they also can see through invisibility and guard one of several underwater scepters that wizards need for the Staff of the Wheel quest.
Back during the Beta testing period, there used to exist the Megalodon in Lake Rathetear. A shark who's jaw was larger than a hill giant (who themselves stand 20 feet tall). Unfortunately, its sheer size presented many pathing issues while swimming between the various islands scattered around the lake, and had to be removed before the game went live.
In Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, sharks appear in some of the aquatic levels, such as the flooded Temple of Belisarius in Istanbul and the lagoons on Penglai Island. If you're not careful, Indy can be Swallowed Whole by them, but fortunately, they can be killed with a few shots from a speargun.
In Batman: Arkham City, you must cross a half-frozen lake inside the Penguin's museum. This, of course, has a gigantic shark in it. Amusingly, you must quietly walk around on the ice, just as you needed to in Killer Croc's lair in Batman: Arkham Asylum. What's worse than a croc? Exactly.
In League of Legends, Fizz the Tidal Trickster's Ultimate summons a giant shark out of freaking nowhere to take a huge bite out of the enemy. A secret aspect of the ability is that, if the target is killed by the shark and they're a small enough champion, no body will be left after they die, indicating that they've been eaten alive.
In Fantasy Quest, a shark appears out of nowhere and attacks. It's particularly bizarre because every other threat in the game comes from mythological creatures.
In this case, Fritz, disguised as one, in one of Lance's death scenes in Brain Dead 13.
In Mass Effect 2, you can find the online search history of Grunt, a tank bred super solider from a Proud Warrior Race who was born ready for battle, but is still learning about the culture and history of his own people and of the humans he his fighting alongside with.
"honored humans" "hemingway" "the sun also rises" "for whom the bell tolls" (finished) "farewell to arms" (deleted) "the old man and the sea" (finished) "sharks"
Inverted in the later Animal Crossing games, where sharks are among the aquatic animals you can reel up with your fishing rod (don't think about it too much). Sharks are both fairly common during the summer and on the island and extremely valuable, so you'll probably be looking for sharks to catch—an inventory full of sharks (not that hard to gather) will net you several hundred thousand Bells.
Tomb Raider II has sharks show up in the Maria Doria wreck levels. They also make an appearance in The Golden Mask expansion pack. Lara can use a harpoon gun to take them on underwater, but it's usually easier to try and escape from them or shoot them from land.
Tomb Raider Underworld has sharks in numerous areas, and can be shot at underwater using the spear gun or even the pistols. Surprisingly, however, these sharks generally tend to leave Lara alone unless she swims too close, too fast, or attacks them first, although the sharks encountered in the Arctic Sea section of the game are much more aggressive.
Might and Magic VII has the late-game Shoals area, which is infested with sharks. The sharks wouldn't be too bad — by the standards of monsters by the time you get there, their stats are actually pretty weak — but the Shoals, being an underwater environment, imposes a lot of restrictions (for example, you are limited to one type of weapon, and you can't wear any armour or use any type of magic), and attacks can come from any direction...
Freedom Fall has a robot shark on one level.
In The Adventures of Lomax, in some of the levels with water present, sharks appear from time to time to either start swimming in one direction and chomp continuously, or outright jump out of the water to bite you.
In Tsukihime, Shiki can get killed at one point by opening a door, while on land, to find a shark behind it (it's one of Nero Chaos's 666 familiars). The doorshark has become something of a meme among the fans.
This is combined this with its land-bound cousin in the form of the Bear Holding A Shark. Really just a cardboard standee that pops out from behind Strong Bad's fence, but a valid meta-character all the same.
And there is, of course, our resident parenting expert, Hungry Shark. He's gonna eat your kids.
The poster image for this page is a photo Urban Legend that's been floating around the Internet for a long time. It shows a diver climbing up a helicopter's rope ladder and a shark is jumping out of the water to eat him whole. It's fake.
In episode "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part 1)", the maritime-themed villain Go-Fish tries to kill Brock Samson by chumming the water to attract sharks.
The Monarch teaches a lesson to a treacherous minion by putting him into a shark tank. However, since he'd previously replaced the guy's blood with acid, the sharks won't touch him. So... "Lower the giant HAIR DRYER!!!"
The latter-day Sylvester and Tweety cartoon Hawaiian Aye Aye, which features a shark as a dog-type pet of Granny's, who does everything he can to protect Tweety from Sylvester. Even at the end, as Granny and Tweety leave on a cruise ship, that bad ol' putty tat still tries to go after the little yellow bird, while the shark still goes after Sylvester.
Tweety: That bad ol' putty tat sure don't give up easy. Shark: Yes, and I don't give up easy either.
Scooby-Doo once got involved with a prehistoric shark (or so it seemed).
In The Mask, when ineffectual villain Fish Guy (who is half-fish, half-really dumb adolescent) puts on the Mask, he becomes "Shark Dude".
In Code Lyoko Season 4, XANA controls shark-like monsters called "Rekins" in the Digital Sea. They fire torpedoes.
Much like Transformers: Robots In Disguise, Beast Wars provides an aversion with Cybershark. A Maximal, his bio describes him as a swashbuckling hero who chases after space pirates. He never appeared in the series however, and only appears in the IDW comics. Played straight elsewhere, however, particularly with the Seacon Overbite. He did appear, in a fashion, as the Predacon Sky-byte in Transformers: Robots In Disguise.
Two episodes deal with a gigantic, shark-like beast that swims through sand like water and has a fortune of treasures pressed into its underside. In the first episode it attacks Agrabah and Aladdin and friends joins with a hunter who had been after the shark for years, and they succeeded in driving it off. In the second episode the shark is slain by a race of Ewok-like desert hunters working for an evil wizard, but Aladdin and the hunter uses its skeleton to repair the hunter's ship and fight the wizard.
In another episode, Aladdin actually becomes a shark via a transformation spell from a Clingy Jealous Girl mermaid and is forced to attack Genie, Iago, and Abu.
In Family Guy Joe gets a past life reading and finds out he was once an octopus. He thinks this is great until a shark swims past and bites off all his tentacles.
In the episode "Tinfins", Dr. Quinn placed a shark's brain into a robot shark's body.
Quinn: What I did was I took nature's most perfect killing machine, and needlessly turned it into a robot.
And then there's the episode where they are trapped in an underwater cave with their oxygen supply running out, with a very persistent Great White waiting for them at the only way out. They end up dying at the end of the episode when they run out of air.
Kenny The Shark, where the titular shark is a household pet, subverts this trope and somewhat plays it straight. While Kenny does cause a bit of trouble, he usually has good intentions when causing it.
A season 2 episode features a game set underwater. The User's submarine is very shark-like. Not to mention a scene where mer-Bob and mer-Dot are surrounded by a school of sharks until Bob cuts one in half and scares the rest off.
SpongeBob:Emergency! Everybody out of the water! Bather: What's the problem? SpongeBob: Um... there are sharks in there! (cut to a nerdy-looking shark and his family) Shark: Hey, that's my family you're talking about.
Total Drama Island features freshwater sharks. Revenge of the Island has them return. One shark in particular, due to exposure of toxic waste, was mutated so that it can breathe air as well as water, and can walk on land.
Turns up as Nightmare Fuel in My Little Pony Tales of all places. Schoolgirls Patch and Bon-Bon, through a major lapse in judgement by the former, find themselves floating over the ocean in a hot-air balloon, which is then damaged by birds. Just when they think they've hit their bleakest moment (and this isn't even the first time Bon-Bon's been in a life threatening situation), they look down and see shark fins in the water.
Subverted in an episode of American Dragon Jake Long where Jake is tasked with guarding a shark-woman who holds in possession (in her stomach) Poseidon's trident. Despite her compulsive eating, the shark-woman means well and claims that all shark-people are misunderstood and friendly. The only evil shark-men Jake fights are a group of escaped delinquents who want to flood the world with Poseidon's trident.
A shark can be seen chasing Scrooge McDuck's submarine in the DuckTales opening theme.
Danger Mouse: In "Heavy Duty", Dr. Crumhorn creates a food substance for sharks that enables them to traverse solid land. His own finned Fido has been trained to seek out and destroy Danger Mouse and Penfold.
In Bob's Burgers, Mr. Fishchoder buys a mechanical shark used in a movie filmed in the town to attract tourists. The Belcher kids accidentally tip it over, causing it to crawl down the street and break everything in its path.
In real life, sharks play a very important role in the marine ecosystem, and their presence is a good sign of cleaner, more productive seas. It was the unfortunate Jaws stigma that created this trope. Although it was also thanks to Jaws that scientists started taking a closer look at sharks than ever before, which in turn led to the huge push to preserve them as a species. So Jaws saved sharks from extinction nearly caused by... Jaws. Eh, talk about things coming full circle.
The sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the fate of many of its crew. This was carried out primarily by Whitetip Sharks, who are notorious for launching feeding frenzies as soon as food is available. They're responsible for the most human deaths of any species of shark, namely because they would be the ones to swarm shipwreck survivors. It was even they that mariners nicknamed "Sea dogs" because of their slow and cautious but curious pace when investigating something new. Here's some horror: you know that "If a shark bites you, it will leave you alone because it won't like your taste" thing? Yeah, Bull Sharks will attack out of sheer aggression, but Whitetips apparently missed the memo on this one. They'll devour you if they even think that you're food and someone else might eat you before they can. Many people only know about this from hearing it recounted in Jaws. Or the Made-for-TV MovieMission of the Shark.
The Megalodon, a fifty foot-long prehistoric super shark. As well as a number of other large (and often freakish-looking) prehistoric sharks. Want some examples?
Helicoprion was as large as a great white and had a circular saw-shaped bottom jaw lined with hundreds of teeth; its relative, Edestus, had this on both jaws. Although Helicoprion is now thought to have been a ratfish, not a shark. Not that this makes it any less badass, though.
There's also Xenacanthus, a freshwater shark that managed to live through two mass extinctions events (one of which wiped out 95% of all life) and had a cool looking spike on its head. Its close relative, Orthacanthus, a shark with fangs — basically a shark crossed with a crocodile. Stethacanthus had a dorsal fin in the shape of an anvil and tiny spines covering it and its head, and Cretoxyrhina, a Cretaceous shark about twice as large as the great white that likely ate dinosaurs.
The most modern Russian attack submarine, the Project 671B Schuka-B has the NATO name "Akula" (Russian for shark).
The "Typhoon" class ballistic missile submarine is designated Akula in Russia.
Also, the Russians have the Kamov KA 50 helicopter, known as the "Chornaya Akula" (Black Shark).
The Tiger shark. It's not all stereotyping. However, studies indicate that tiger sharks can easily be tamed.
Bull sharks are known for their unpredictable and aggressive behavior, and have been known to attack people without provocation. Oh, and — they have a certain level of tolerance for fresh water. Just when you thought it was safe to go in the rivers... Just read about the Jersey Shore Attacks of 1916. Pure terror; it was so scary, it was the main inspiration for Jaws!
It should be noted that they did catch a Great White Shark that had human remains in its stomach. Which means that there was more than one shark involved, since great whites can't tolerate fresh water (two attacks occurred several miles upriver).
What's really scary? Bull sharks are among the most dangerous sharks despite being generally in the six-to-eight-foot range. A thirteen-footer was caught, three full feet longer than the biggest anyone had seen before that.
Whitetip sharks. At least bull sharks will leave you alone if you keep your distance. Whitetips will follow you (hence the nickname "Sea dogs"), and if they even think that you're edible, they will eat you. And not stop. That "sharks don't like human taste" thing doesn't apply. Hence why Whitetips have a higher human body count than all other species combined.
That's primarily because Oceanic Whitetip sharks are the species that are typically involved in attacking victims of shipwrecks or airplane crashes. They rarely come close to shore, much less far into river systems the way bull sharks do.
Ragged tooth sharks bear live young... which eat each other while still in their mother's womb. Out of the original 15 fetuses, only two generally survive until birth, and even that is only because the womb is split in two sections.
Subverted by the Whale Shark. It's even more like a whale than the name implies — it's the largest existing shark on earth, and feeds entirely on plankton. It's a Gentle Giant of the seas that lets divers pat it.
Please do not try to grab a Whale Shark and ride it. The action will be highly unlikely to harm you, but will seriously invert this trope and cause the shark great distress and possibly injure it.
Basking sharks are harmless to humans, too. Though they look damned weird when their mouths are fully open.
Don't forget the Megamouth Shark.
Also subverted by dogfish, the smallest sharks. Most are just one or two feet long, and they're about as cute as fish ever get.
A number of shark species are harmless to humans because it's simply implausible for a human to ever share their environment, like the goblin shark which occurs at extreme depths, or the Greenland Shark which lives in frigid arctic waters. Although it's probably pretty good that the Greenland shark does so, since some research will find them capable of giving humans nightmares. Such as the one who ate a polar bear. Turns out, that for these things, it's not that Bears Are Bad News, it's that bears are food. The one who was found with an entire reindeer in its stomach deserves an honorable mention as well. Actually, the Inuit has legends of the shark attacking kayaks, and although no confirmed cases of human predation exists, given is willingness to eat bears and reindeer, it is not wholly unlikely that it would take a human form time to time.
To be fair, some sharks can be dangerous to deep sea divers, which is why many who visit sharks in the seas learn to read their body language. Despite essentially being a living torpedo in shape, sharks can convey their intentions by arching their back, shifting their jaws and eyes back, and by swimming in particular patterns. Any diver who ignores or fails to act upon such body language is in danger of failing to spot an impending attack. If a diver learns the tricks, however, they can not only know when best to leave the water, but also, with some species, know how to avoid inviting an attack in the first place. One example is to swim below the shark - sharks usually attack from below, so if a diver gets below them, the shark will be wary and will treat the diver as a fellow predator rather than as prey.
Brook Watson, the british merchant and trader form the 17th century, and later Lord Mayor of London, was attacked by an unidentified shark at the harbor in Havana at age 14. It ate his right leg, before he was saved by his fellow crewmen. He lived on to his remarkable career despite his handicap, although his political enemies poked fun at his predicament. Eventuelly, he was immortalized in the painting Watson and the Shark by John Copley (who had clearly never seen a shark), meant to encourage other orphans to seek out a long a good life no matter their situation.