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What is So Scary About The Ocean?

What is So Scary About The Ocean?

Whether you’ve been to a beach or have gone fishing before, most of us have thought about the wonder of the ocean before in our lives. It is a place sprawling with life and biodiversity on the coral reefs, but also a vast open space filled with nothing but the sounds of distant whales. It takes up about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, and currently, we know of 226,000 ocean species in it. 

Thalassophobia is the fear of large or deep water. The ocean is the best example of where most people develop thalassophobia, in the deepest part of the water. But what makes it so scary? Why is it that when people are in the beautiful environment of the ocean they become so frightened? Studies show that many people who develop thalassophobia are scared from past traumatic events, such as nearly drowning as a child, hearing scary stories of the ocean, or witnessing an attack from a shark. 

Possibly the most terrifying aspect of the ocean is the unknown. The thought of being trapped in the middle of the ocean, without knowing what is below you, and the dread you would feel knowing that there is no escape. One statistic that can send chills down the spines of many people is the fact that “More than 80 percent of the ocean has never been mapped, explored, or even seen by humans” (National Geographic). To put that into perspective, we have done studies on a much greater percentage of the surface of Moon and Mars, than our own oceans. 

 

Looking ahead of the already nightmare-inducing thought of the sheer vastness of the ocean, the creatures that live in it are just as terrifying. More than ninety percent of the species in the ocean have not been discovered yet, and there could be anywhere “between a few hundred thousand and a few million more to be discovered” (National Geographic). To think that we have already discovered monsters as frightening as the colossal squid which grows up to 46 feet long, or the great white shark with 3-inch razor-sharp teeth. Who knows what other potential creatures might be living in the ocean? 

While many are terrified of the ocean due to its deep waters and harmful predators, another factor looked past by most is the amount of disease that lies in the ocean. About one millimeter of ocean water can contain nearly 10 million viruses (The Daily). The dangers of getting sick from the ocean are very high, and likely a greater concern than most people think.  

The ocean is certainly a place to enjoy with surfing, fishing, swimming, and scuba diving. However, there is no doubt that it is a very dangerous place that houses many terrors. Humans must acknowledge the potential consequences of being in the ocean, but they also must strive to understand more about the underwater world to enable us to explore bigger things.

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