Three Reasons Not To Go To Florida: Lightning, Sharks and Gators

Some methods of dying are much worse than others.  Since I was a kid I have been fascinated with sharks, likely for this reason.  Recently I thought it would be cool to look at shark attack data.  Maybe I could figure out some pattern or interesting insight.  That task remains undone, however, because I uncovered something else of interest.

As a data scientist you always look for anomalies. For several interesting categories, Florida tops the list by a huge margin.  If you go to Florida your chances of meeting three horrific ends increases dramatically.

Lighting Related Fatalities: 1959-2010

25% of all US lightning fatalities happen in Florida...

Unprovoked Shark Attacks By State: 1959-2010

62% of all US unprovoked shark attacks happen in Florida...

Gator Attacks By State: 1948-2005

90% of all US gator attacks happen in Florida...

So... let's recap.  In Florida if you go in the ocean you will be eaten by a shark, if you go in the river you will be eaten by a gator and if you stay on land you will be killed by lightning.  Maybe you should go somewhere else for spring break.

All code and data can be found here: