I’m afraid of sharks. Some find this fear irrational, since statistically speaking my chances of being attacked by a shark are low. Be that as it may, nothing sends me into a knee-buckling, heart-racing, eye-bulging panic attack like submerging my body into the salty home of a Great White.
On the food chain, sharks trump humans. It doesn’t matter if you’re holding a harpoon; one nudge from a Great White can render your weapon obsolete. They are bigger and more badass than we are and there’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to be the sea snacks at a shark smorgasbord.
Have you ever watched the tide as it rolls in or sat on the beach and gazed at the waves as they thrust themselves powerfully toward the shore? I have and it dawned on me that the ocean itself is designed to hurl us out of it and back to the safety of land. Try to swim out to sea and you will experience the sea fighting against you, beckoning you back to the sand. It’s a sign. We are not meant to be swimming in the ocean. There are predators that will eat us.
If you were walking down a city street and I told you that around the corner and down the alley stood a big monster waiting to devour you. This monster will bump up against you a couple of times, knock you over and then, in a thrashing, violent motion, rip your limbs from your body and eat them. You will cry out but only momentarily until the loss of blood causes you to enter a state of shock, followed by loss of consciousness. If I told you this, would you voluntarily turn the corner and walk down that alley?
Let me give you a more realistic scenario: If we were walking on a trail in the woods and I told you that just up ahead was a Grizzly Bear, would you continue along the path? Or perhaps we’re at the zoo and I told you that the Polar Bear had escaped and was heading our way. Knowing it is one of the deadliest predators on the planet, would you continue to walk toward it?
Why, then, when we have documented evidence of Great White sharks coming into as little as three feet of water, do we (humans) continue to swim in the ocean? Why have we not fortified every inch of coastline with chain netting to try to protect swimmers?
There are monsters at sea!
What’s more relevant is the fact that the Great White isn’t the shark who should be feared the most. It is the smaller sharks who attack swimmers more frequently. The Tiger Shark. The Sand Shark. The Lemon Shark. They lack the girth of the Great White, but their teeth are just as sharp and their demeanor just as ferocious.
There are areas of the planet where humans belong and areas where we don’t. I wouldn’t bring a shark into my home, so why, then, should I go into his home? A good question indeed.