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Travel isn’t always a vacation.

August 25, 2017

When on the road, things can — and will — go wrong. The best defense is preparation, even for worst case scenarios.

Say, for example, you’re swimming in the ocean and then out of nowhere a shark appears and starts heading straight for you.

It turns out, there is some truth in the old adage about punching a shark in the nose. Like with any opponent, you should aim for their weak spots.

A hard, sharp bop on the nose will likely cause the shark to veer away, giving you time to get out of the water.

George Burgess, the director for the Florida Program for Shark Research, told Business Insider that the eyes and gill slits are among a shark’s most sensitive parts. If, in the event a shark takes you in its jaws, you could still manage to escape by clawing and poking the eyes and the five gill slits, located directly behind the eyes.

Related: Why We’re Afraid of Shark Attacks (But Probably Shouldn’t Be)

Bear in mind, however, that the chances of being bitten by a shark are incredibly rare. Data from the International Shark Attack File puts your chances of being attacked by a shark at one in 11.5 million. There’s only a one in 264.1 million chance that you'll die from a shark attack.

But as every worst case scenario-thinker knows, dangerous encounters with animals can happen on land, too — and this defense strategy doesn’t work for every animal. If, like two California hikers earlier this month, you come face to face with a mountain lion, you probably don’t want to try sticking your fingers in its eyes. Instead, try to remain as calm as possible and avoid acting “like prey.”

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