Good reasons why I don't like sharks

In 1975 the movie "Jaws" was released. I was too young too see it, being only 3 years old at the time. Interestingly enough, the film conjured up so many scares that beach attendance was down in the summer of 1975 due to its profound impact. When "Jaws 2" screened my siblings (being a decade older than me), having seen the film, scared me silly with stories about a huge killer shark that ate people. My lifelong love/hate fascination with sharks had begun. Funnily enough, one thing I would love to do before I die is to go cage diving with a Great White. Below are 11 good reasons why I'm not fond of sharks...

1. Sharks eat people
What's up with those statistics like "there is more chance of dying by a falling coconut than by a shark attack"? Are they supposed to be comforting? I'll have to remember them if I ever come face to face with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. There have been 2 recorded deaths by shark attack in that many months. Haven't read of anyone dying by falling cocnuts lately, have you?

2. Multiple viewings of the "Jaws" movies from an early age
Even though the shark looked fake, I was too scared to swim alone in swimming pools for years!

3. My dad's shark stories
When I was growing up, dad would tell me about the time when he narrowly missed a close encounter with a massive thresher shark. The shark apparently was following the scent of the bleeding fish on his spear (He was spear-fishing). Dad climbed onto a rock as the thresher cruised past. He would also tell me when he was once fishing from a local wharf when a massive shark cruised right beneath him. Stories like that combined with a my young, very vivid, over-developed imagination, made "Jaws" seem very real.

4. Reading numerous books on shark attacks (with pictures)
I don't recommend reading them while you are having a meal of spaghetti and meatballs.

5. The shark wasn't working
When I was 14 mum and dad took me for a trip to Universal Studios. I had dreamed for years of seeing "Bruce" in action (the robotic shark from the original movie). Califonia is a long way from New Zealand. The day we were there, the shark was out of order. I think I cried.

6. The USS Indianapolis
One of the most famous shark attacks is that of the USS Indianapolis, sunk by Japanese torpedoes in the Pacific Ocean in 1945. It took several days for rescuers to reach the ship, because the mission had been so top secret that no one reported the ship missing. By the time Navy rescue craft arrived, only 317 men were still alive out of the almost 1,000 that survived the initial sinking. Tiger sharks were responsible for most of the deaths.

7. Seeing a 10ft shark swim past me (up close) while surfing
It happened about 7 years ago, while surfing at "Eliott's Beach" Northland, NZ. They say if you see a shark, then it probably won't attack you. Very reasuring... not.

8. The recent discovery that Great White's jump, and hunt in packs
Ever seen footage and photos shot from Seal Island off the coast of South Africa? Could easily be humans and not seals. Bombs off the rock anyone?

9. "Jaws" was inspiried by a true story
In July 1916, almost sixty years before the movie Jaws ignited a nationwide shark phobia, a single "rogue shark" terrorised the New Jersey shore. Five people were chewed up in a week, sparking a panic that kept beach-goers out of the water, inciting frenzied coverage in the press, and launching the greatest shark hunt in history.

10. The photos in the local takeaways
At the fish'n'chip shop up the road from our house there are photos on the wall taken from a helecopter of several large sharks cruising up and down the beach... in shallow water... where people are.

11. Youtube
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... The video below is probably a contributing factor as to why I haven't been surfing in 2 years.

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