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A grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) swims inside a tank during a presentation of the European Shark Week in the Madrid's Zoo Aquarium October 14, 2011. Members of the Shark Alliance in Europe run a week of activities demanding that policy makers secure the future health of shark populations. Reuters

Men in Australia are nine times more likely to be attacked by sharks than women, according to a study published in the international journal Coastal Management last week to assess the nature of shark attacks and shark deaths from all over the globe.

In an interesting revelation, researchers at the Gold Coast's Bond University found that men in Australia were more prone to shark attacks than women. The results were surprising even to the head researcher Daryl McPhee, who had to double-check his findings to make sure if it was true.

As per the study, 84 per cent of unprovoked shark attacks were found to be on men and 89 per cent of deaths caused by shark bites were also men. The researchers found that women were not only likely to escape an attack, but also live through it, if attacked.

Explaining the probable causes for men being more prone to shark attacks than women, McPhee told ABC, "There's probably more man hours in the water so to speak than women hours globally. Also it may well be tied to males being more risk-prone than females."

Likewise, it was also found that Australia recorded the most number of fatal shark attacks than any other country in the world. The results were part of a detailed study of shark attacks and shark deaths in the world.

ABC also quoted McPhee as saying that there were 32 deaths caused by shark bites in Australia over the last 30 years. While the deaths caused by shark attacks were 28 in South Africa and there were only 25 deaths reported in the United States of America.

According to McPhee, the high rates of deaths caused by shark attacks in Australia have something to do with the kind of sharks found there. "The United States has a lot of sharks, but has a lot of small sharks. That's probably the main reason," said McPhee.

In spite of the statistics, McPhee is of the opinion that the threat of being attacked by sharks is comparatively low. He told Telegraph that provoked attacks are very common in Australia and can be best avoided. "People patting sharks on the head or making them angry, putting their hand in the shark's mouth to get a fishing hook out. Jumping on sharks and trying to ride on them. There are provoked shark attacks that should win Darwin Awards," concluded McPhee.