Sharks are one of the ocean’s most interesting creatures, but they can also be one of the most terrifying. People are scared of sharks because it’s a belief that sharks kill and eat humans even if they don’t harm humans intentionally and pose very less threat to humans.
The fear of sharks is an extreme phobia that usually prevents you from doing any fun water activities if there are any sharks in the area. In addition, it stops you from discovering the wonders of the ocean world.
The fear of sharks is so common that it is often a punchline when discussing a person’s fear of the water or swimming. More than just being afraid of being eaten by a shark, coming across one can be enough to create a sense of danger.
With that said, sharks are, of course, not considered friendly creatures, but it all comes down to particular species. The seas are home to over 500 species of sharks, and each one has different traits and characteristics. Similarly, the behavior with humans differs from species to species. Humans are only considered to be at risk from a few species. Read out the names here.
Moving forward, there are people who are afraid of sharks and often get nightmares and suffer from anxiety.
While we have names for different fears, one wonders what is the fear of sharks called and how can the affected person overcome this? Well, here we are going to discover it all.
How do you describe shark fear?
There is nothing unusual about being scared of sharks. Ocean predators like sharks are among the most efficient. Keeping the food chain and the species population in balance is all possible due to their predatory behavior. Nevertheless, sharks can be huge, fierce, and scary to look at, creating fear among people.
The fear of sharks is called galeophobia (a phobia of sharks). Word galeophobia is derived from the Greek words “Galeos,” which means sharks, and “Phobos” fear.
Seems like a scientific term, but how will you get to know if you are facing this phobia or not? Let’s get to know about it too.
How to tell if you have a fear of sharks?
A person with mild galeophobia may feel uncomfortable around sharks but is able to function in everyday life. A person with an extreme phobia experiences symptoms like panic attacks, sweats, stomach ache, chest pain, elevated heart rate, anxiety, nightmares, nervousness, stress, agitation, and hysteria.
It seems like a huge problem, and the problem is that countless people worldwide face this. The thing is to overcome this fear, but how do you do that? It’s important, and we are going to find out the ways that work.
How to overcome the fear of sharks?
A number of ways and methods are being discussed on different forums about how to overcome the fear of sharks, but not everything seems to work out. Below, you are going to find out the ways that will help you doze the shark’s phobia in one way or another.
But before you read that, it’s crucial that you accept your fear if you think you have all the symptoms of galeophobia. Once you accept your fear, your journey to overcome the fear of sharks will be easy and smooth.
Movies are not reality
Shark movies like “Jaws”, “Deep Blue Sea,” or “Open Water” have delivered fear in use in a variety of convincing ways. The chances of being killed by a shark are very low, so you must accept that what we see in the movies is not reality. All sharks are not dangerous and man-eating machines. If even some attacks had happened in the past, they were just accidents, or the shark is defensive or trying to escape from a net or a trap.
Watch videos of sharks
Thousands of shark videos are available on YouTube. Watch them and know how amazing these creatures are, intelligent and friendly they are. Even some sharks let divers approach and swim with them.
They protect oceans by eating coral reefs and other fishes to control the sea population. Sharks do not pose any threat. Sharks look scary with so many sharp teeth and pointed fins.
Go for a swim
If you love swimming and really want to swim with whales and dolphins but are too scared of sharks to go, then ignore your fear and imagine all the fun you will experience in the ocean. Find out if a person can swim with sharks or not.
Talk to someone about your fear
If you still fear sharks after following all the steps, talk to someone with experience with sharks, like your scuba instructor or a diver. Tell them about your anxiety and concerns. Hear their stories if they were also scared of sharks or have seen a shark before, and how scary or friendly they were. After that, go for a swim or scuba diving, and if you encounter a shark, you’ll realize that shark has no interest in you.
Galeophobia is a persistent and irrational fear of sharks. Galeophobia is considered to range from mild phobia to extreme phobia. Though shark phobia is a relatively rare phobia, fear is pretty common among adults and children. The movies we see of sharks are the big reason that most people are scared of them because, in reality, they are not as scary and dangerous as we see them in the movies. They don’t eat humans and rarely attack them.
So, next time you feel like you have a shark fear, try to learn about them, and you will find out they are not as dangerous as portrayed.