Tue Feb 1 AEST - Wed Feb 2 AEST (in about 2 months)
In your timezone (EST): Mon Jan 31 5:00pm - Wed Feb 2 2:00am
Bowral, New South Wales, Australia
Why are we so afraid of sharks?
This is probably fuelled by our fear of the unknown, where the uncertain depths of the oceans are filled with mystery, engendering the perceived likelihood of being attacked.
Beyond psychology, Hollywood has a part to play too, with film director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Peter Benchley’s novel ‘Jaws’ depicting the great white shark as an aggressive human predator.
However on all accounts, the chances of humans dying from shark attacks are minuscule compared to say heart disease or car accidents. Yet that gruesome thought seems to creep us out more, causing us to significantly overreact.
Unfortunately, our attempt to alleviate our fears of uncertainty has often resulted in severe unintended consequences.
For example, shark control measures, such as nets and drumlines, indiscriminately harm large species of sea creatures such as dolphins, seals, sea turtles etc.