- Marion Clark
There is something to be said for a species that has survived 450 million years! How afraid of them should we be? As a surf instructor and frequent ocean goer I hear stories upon stories of why people don't step foot in the ocean for fear of sharks! Where do I start with explaining that the fear is irrational? Are irrational fears eased by rational means of facts, explanations or education?
Justin said that he would be way more scared if the megalodon were still around. The megalodons teeth are upwards of 7 inches each and are often found fossilized all around the world (that's what happens when you've been extinct for 2.6 - 15.9 million years). How could you not be terrified of something that has teeth the size of your face and hundreds of them! But seriously, if a shark was a big as a whale I don't think it would want to dine on little ole me!
SHARKs are freakin cool!!! Sharks have been around before insects, mammals, even dinosaurs and have survived all 5 mass extinctions. It's incredibly sad that at this point in time us humans are the ones that put their existence at risk. The crazy thing is that we hardly know about them. Some of them lay eggs! There is a lack of fossils due to the fact that they are comprised of a lot of cartilidge which decays faster than bone. Shark make tons of teeth and if they lose 1 it can be replaced in as little as a day. Fossilized shark teeth are over 10,000 years old!
Here is a list of some personal reasons why I'm not afraid of sharks:
1. Our species isn't at risk for extinction by shark attack
2. Even in the ocean, I have no natural predators. Just because something can kill me doesn't mean it will. It's not a murder machine, it wants to eat! I'm not that delicious- that's a fact! Sharks don't want to eat people. I have other things to worry about like waves crashing on me and the need for oxygen
3. I understand statistics ... I understand that if I should be afraid of death I have a lot more to worry about, even with all the time I spend in the ocean. There are so many ridiculous ways to die, like death by vending machine... I wonder if that sets some peoples mind at ease?
4. Do I dare say it would be a cool way to die? That's a whole other rant... But I can say that I would really hate to die from terrorism, murder, war, etc and I don't feel the same way about death by shark!
5. I'm not swimming/surfing in an area where a plethora of shark food lives - statistics
6. I'm not swimming/surfing far enough out to sea where a shark large enough could eat me
7. I'm not afraid of something I've never even seen in real life.
8. The benefits of being in the ocean outweigh the potential risk of death by shark.
9. YOLO- had to throw that in there!