List o’ 19 Ways to Die: What Are the Odds: fatal shark atatck. Great white shark. Great whites average 12-16 feet long. A shark attack is an attack on humans by sharks. Every year a number of people are attacked by sharks, although death is quite unusual. Despite the relative rarity of shark attacks, the fear of sharks is a common phenomenon, having been fueled by the occasional instances of attacks, and by sensationalized fiction and film.