Learning about the fear of sharks is important to discover inner peace, taking charge of your own life being rid of inhibitions.
Shark fear is commonly called galeophobia, when someone has a fear of sharks they will typically shy away from water activities, like I did, where there was any potential danger of encountering sharks. This is a very real debilitating fear that’s often passed on to other relatives and friends especially children. Other factors that people who fear sharks will typically avoid, include watching any movies or view pictures of sharks, as to them this in itself can be overwhelming. So why do people fear sharks?
Why folks Fear Sharks
It’s easy to accept that lots of men, women and children especially, fear sharks and shark attacks. Just the appearance of a shark can be very frightening to many people worldwide as we look at their body shape, having their mouths partly open, exposing rows of sharp teeth like steak knives. This mental image reinforces the fact they’re silent, finely tuned predators, which have evolved predating the Jurassic era, cruising the oceans depths in search of prey. Sharks can attack with tremendous force inflicting horrific wounds to victims which may have been confused for their normal prey or food supply.
The main reason why people suffer with shark phobia called (galeophobia) is seeing how they attack victim or victims, with death cold looking eyes that lack any emotion as they tear flesh from the bone. Media hype is the next biggest factor that creates fear in people about sharks, with prime examples of this being the way the media plays on words of those that have fallen victim to a shark attack, or jump the gun in a story including the word shark as they understand that this plays on people’s emotions. Throughout the years we have been trained and accustomed to think that sharks are the enemy that are out to kill humans, whereas that is far from the truth.
Speaking from a personal viewpoint after being attacked by a shark, fear is an involuntary response which may be bought on by the sight of sharks or even speak about sharks from other individuals as this brings back images that are too ghastly to face. After my attack I found it very hard to cope with or hear people talking about sharks in the first transitional period, as I learned more about sharks and how to handle the fear I had. Even going to the beach standing in water up to my knees was terrifying as each motion, or sight that I saw, my mind was telling me that they were sharks and that I needed to get out of the water.
Some of the most common signs that people will give off include reluctance to discuss the “shark topic”, have an increased heart rate in addition to becoming very nervous or anxious. Dizziness and metal distress is part of the phobia that may lead to stuttering, sleepless nights, shakes, cold sweats and nightmares as you relive the experience you’ve had or an experience which you might have seen over and over again. I tried not to show my fear to others even though I suffered from all of the above as I strived to deal with the fear I had been holding on, but with good close family and friends together with professional help speaking to other shark researchers I made it through the other side.
Shark Movies and Media Hype
Movies like the Jaws series have represented the shark in a really poor light portraying them as savage predators’ intent on killing individuals, worsening the plight of the sharks as well as creating a social endorsement that a dead shark is a good shark. The Jaws series produced a real fear strengthening shark phobia in all that suffer with it, in addition to having others follow suit. See the opening phases of the movie with promotional material depicting a young woman using a peaceful swim, while the monster shark strikes below dragging her into a gruesome death. This film triggered an unrealistic amount of fear in many people that knew nothing about sharks, enforcing a fear with the attitude that it must be real.
Media hype is the worst it has been in several years as every year we hear the exact things, seeing the same headlines like. “Sharks spotted off coastal beach.” Media companies know they can get great exposure for stories by making something seem bigger than it actually is as well as playing on the emotions of people. Take the incident a year ago when a suspected Tiger shark attacked a ship, the media fails to tell you that they had been hitting the shark on the head to move it away from the beach! I don’t know about you? But if someone or something was hitting me on the head I would certainly retaliate.
Don’t get me wrong here as shark attacks are very scary, especially when we read about surfers, divers, swimmers or others being attacked by sharks and dying due to blood loss, but we must put this into perspective. More people die each year going to the beach in automobile accidents but we don’t ban cars as they are deadly. In fact we have all swum in the sea with sharks in the very near proximity without even knowing they are there. This is because we don’t generally give off the right scent or appearance of a shark’s prey; nevertheless sharks do attack with the most likely cause being mis-identification of the potential food supply.
Prime examples of this can be found in locations like Vero Animal Removal, South Africa and Australia where surfers especially, have been attacked. These areas which have higher shark populations should expect there to be shark and human interaction as more people are spending some time in or on the sea. It is my firm belief that most of these attacks are brought on by the shark misidentifying the surfer for an example, for a seal. Contained in this page shark attacks on dip world NZ it shows the way the shark perceives a surfer, or predator in regard to a seal it’s most common food source, particularly the Great White (Carcharodon carcharias).
Why Protect Sharks
Sharks have developed through the centuries since scientists believe they are very similar but more than likely smaller than those millions of years ago. The sharks play an extremely important role keeping an equal balance in the marine eco system, cleaning up dead and dying species they encounter, as well as maintaining the fine balance of life in our oceans. If you start to take away the top predators then other dire consequences will occur, with an over abundance of particular species which will intern have an impact on sub species. This can, and probably will, lead to a total collapse of life above and below, in the food chain order. Just as we humans depend on the sea as a food source which provides us with important vitamins and minerals.
At this current rate and pressure on the shark populations’ many believe 90 percent of all species will be wiped out by 2030. If this happens we’ll surely see more business collapses on a global front including, but not limited to, a direct effect of additional life on planet earth.
So ask yourself;”Can we really keep up this strain?” If our seas expire and become a jelly filled sludge pond all life on earth may turn into that of Easter Island. So become proactive, do it, confront and find an understanding to join myself educating others about the importance of sharks. Not only for yourselves but for the benefit of your children and their grandparents.
Proactive Documentaries about Sharks
Divers globally are taking the initiative in hand as we try to show the world the life that we have beneath the surface. Taking on the role informing others about the dire plight the sharks are facing as we attempt to make a difference. Of all of those I admire Rob Stewart maker of Sharkwater! If you haven’t seen this movie/documentary, then I highly suggest you watch it. Sharkwater looks into the makeup of our oceans and how all life is contingent on the upper and lower order.
Shark diving operations are playing another key role as they exhibit the sharks close up as well as providing researchers a closer insight into the world of the sharks. There is so much to learn from this one particular species of fish that can be and are directly related, to improving the health and well being of humans.