It’s safe to say that America’s fascination with sharks has peaked in the last few years. Just look at our obsession with Discovery Channel’s Shark Week (which actually started in 1988, but has only recently become a hit).
If you’ve spent any time watching Shark Week, you’ve probably seen a lot of “experts” talk about sharks and how dangerous they are. In recent years, Shark Week has become less about providing information and more about doing Jaws-like reenactments.
All of this has given sharks a very bad rap. From docu-fiction to mockumentaries, Shark Week has created a huge amount of fear around sharks, who can be very gentle, curious creatures.
A few years ago, while studying abroad in South Africa, I went shark cage diving and fell completely in love with these underwater dwellers. They are impressive in their size, beauty, and power.
While they can be aggressive, sharks are generally benevolent animals — they typically only bite when they are hungry. This is why so many people survive shark attacks; the shark thinks they are biting into a seal, and when they realize that what they’ve actually eaten is a human’s arm, they lose interest and swim away.
If you’re still skeptical, watch this amazing video of the woman who calls herself the “Shark Dancer.” This woman goes into the ocean with nothing but chainmail as protection to swim among the sharks.
Her goal in spending time with the sharks is to take out hooks that have gotten stuck in their skin. She does this by gently touching the sharks until they are comfortable with her.
It becomes clear that the sharks truly trust this woman. If I had her poise (and her balls), I would love to have her job.
Feature Image Via YouTube