Slightly melodramatic, but true none the less. While i was in Byron Bay, there was a shark attack. However, it did not involve me. It did make me slightly apprehensive about going surfing that day, but i did it anyway. If i ended up spending a lot of time looking around apprehensively for that elusive giant fin, or a shadowy presence lurking in the murky waters, i figured it was only natural. A lifetime of Jaws and shark week programmes takes its toll on your imagination. So why do we have this obsession with sharks?
Raise your eyebrow in the direction of any knowledgeable statistician, and they will point out the complete unlikelihood of a shark ever biting your arm off. Or attacking you at all. They will also point out how many sharks are murdered each year due to this rather poignant deep seated phobia we have cultivated as a conscious collective. Sort of similar to the antagonism poor little spiders gain on a daily basis just by daring to exist. Irrational? Perhaps.
The problem lies more in the fact that homo sapiens are more likely to save the cute little furry species than the towering evolutionary masters designed perfectly for their purpose of ruling the waters. They are predators, and if you encroach on their territory then you have to respect them. We might be able to rule the underwater population from the safety of our metal boats and weaponry, but once you’re in the water, you slide right down the evolutionary chain.
There are some places it is best not to risk swimming, just like in some places it is not worth standing on a certain street corner, or sleeping near the lions in the safari park. Don’t let that stop you enjoying the ocean for what it is though. Just give it, and the creatures in it, the respect that they deserve.