Fear has always been something that people have had to learn to live with. In a sense, the very definition of fear is something that we cannot truly understand until we experience it. Some people are scared of spiders; some are scared of snakes; some are scared of clowns. But you seldom appreciate what real fear is until you have to come face to face with it. And to give them some credit, some people have legitimate phobias of these animals and creatures. These are poor folks who will shake uncontrollably and feel something that most of us will never really understand until we find our own phobias.
On the other hand, there is a good aspect of fear. It seems odd to talk about it that way, right? But fear is a necessary thing. Fear is what keeps you on your toes and keeps you from doing stupid things that could very well end up getting you killed. Today, we are going to talk about a phobia that is more common than many people would think. We are going to talk a little bit about Thalassophobia. The dictionary definition of this noun is “an intense fear of the sea, a clinical phobia characterized by extreme and irrational fear of the sea.”
That is a fair definition to a point because we disagree with part of it. We don’t think this fear is irrational at all, and we are here to prove to you that you probably have Thalassophobia as well. Don’t you believe us? Well, get ready to find out about your first phobia because here are 15 images that will prove you have a rational fear of the sea and sea travel.
15 What Lurks below
The key thing to remember here is that our opinion is that Thalassophobia might be the most realistic and rational phobia out there. Let’s just bring science into the conversation for a bit. Aside from rainforests, the most mysterious places on Earth are underwater. The same way people keep discovering new bugs and small birds across many of the world’s rainforests, people have been discovering new sea animals at a healthy pace.
Nevertheless, no one could be stupid enough to claim that we have found out everything about the ocean. The truth is that you never know what is underwater. As much as it could be just dolphins, sharks, and the occasional giant squid, gigantic monsters like these could live underwater. Seriously, the same way no one can claim sea monsters are real until they have solid proof of it, it is equally as irresponsible for someone to claim that no such thing exists until they have irrefutable evidence against it.
14 No Ground
Following the same line of thought of our first entry, we can also claim that a fear of the sea is healthy because water is a force we can seldom fight against. Let’s just say you are walking around a forest and then a giant snake appears and starts pursuing you. On solid ground, there is a chance that you could outrun and outmaneuver anything. It is a slim chance, but it is possible.
In the water, however, people are usually not that lucky. While many of us can swim and swim very fast, humans were not made to be in the water. That is a skill we developed, but to say that we could outmaneuver anything that was born and lived its entire life in that environment is nothing short of blasphemous. Meanwhile, there is also the feeling of being lost. Unless you are used to the environment, there’s a good chance that being underwater could disorient and end up killing you.
13 The Unknown
This is an interesting paradox. Things like ships and submarines look very cool when they are floating on the water and when we can see them without the risk of drowning. However, if you ever had the chance of taking a good look at a sunken ship or submarine, you know that that is one of the most terrifying things someone can see.
These are fantastic vessels that carried hundreds of people in their heyday but, for some reason, could not sustain a particular voyage and ended up finding a new home at the bottom of the ocean. Sometimes, unfortunately, many of the people inside those ships are also buried underwater. Another terrifying fact is that the giant squid you see over there is not that far of a stretch. Sea creatures are known for making shipwrecks their homes. They are great places to hide, and for some reason, there is never a shortage of food near them, especially if there are divers dumb enough to go looking for riches.
If there is one special kind of people we would like to extend our congratulations to, it is those folks who surf mega waves in the coast of Hawaii or wherever else you can find them. These are the paramount adrenaline junkies. Sure, skydiving could provide you with a lot of adrenaline, but it is very rare that you are in actually any risk when you do something like that. Surfing mega waves, on the other hand, is something extremely dangerous. But why? That’s just water, isn’t it?
Well, yes. That’s just water, but that’s a hell of a lot of water. Sure, it has to be one of the most exhilarating things in the world to catch a tube in one of these things. At the same time, if you slip and get swallowed by this behemoth, there is a good chance that you are either going to drown or smash your head on the ocean floor. A lot of people have died this way.
11 Caught Between Two Bad Places
If we had to give an award for the bravest person who does not have Thalassophobia, we would give it to this guy or gal. We cannot tell if that is a man or a woman, but whoever that is, he/she is one brave human being. This is the very definition of being caught between two horrible places. In order to get away from the situation, this person could either dive further down into the darkness of the ocean which, as you have probably figured out by now, is not something we would advise. Seriously, there is no way you can know for sure what is down there.
The other way seems safer, but it looks like it could be very painful. Those grayish spots above the person, the penguin, and the giant block of ice could be small pieces of ice that tore apart from the main bulk, but they could also be jellyfish. Now try to imagine how much pain you would be in if you attempted to swim among the jellyfish. Burn city.
10 Collateral Damage
One fact people who love the sea will try to use in order to keep you from fearing a large body of water and the creatures that live in it is that most of the enormous beasts that live underwater are not carnivores. Most specifically, there are not a lot of animals in saltwater that eat human beings in comparison to other environments.
But here is the little bit of information that they leave out when trying to convince you to do whatever they want you to do. When you are underwater interacting with creatures as massive as basking sharks and whales, you run the terrifying risk of becoming collateral damage. As you can see, this animal feeds itself by filtering particles in the water. But who is to say that something bad cannot happen and that it could accidentally end up swallowing you whole? Yeah, that might not be the most pleasant of experiences you are going to want to tell your children about years later.
9 Some People Are Weird
There are a couple of sides to this entry. First, we have to admit that it would be pretty cool to have a corridor in your house that was half-filled with water. “Sure honey, let me just swim to the kitchen, and I’ll bring you your breakfast.” That sounds like a pretty cool thing to say to your wife in your anniversary. Nevertheless, there are a few things that could go very wrong in a corridor like this. The most obvious one is that you cannot come back drunk to your house, especially if you have to swim past this corridor in order to get to your room.
In a regular house, you could just fall on the floor and pass out there, and nothing deadly would happen to you. Probably. In this house, however, that is a recipe for disaster. Imagine if you start feeling ill halfway through the swim, or worse, you pass out on the corridor. People will only find your body days later, bloated with water. That’s just nasty.
8 Too Close
Remember how we told you that no one can ever really know what is underwater at any given point? Yeah, this is precisely what we meant by that. Sorry for the gif, but these are five seconds of footage that are going to make you think two or three times before being the first person in your group to jump into the water when you are in the open sea. Just imagine if one of these ladies had gone forth and taken that leap into the water.
Either one or both of them would have become shark chow. And it might be funny for us to talk about it now, but you better be sure that some people have lost sleep over this. The ocean is one hell of a scary place. If only we could see underwater from the surface, maybe the whole thing wouldn’t be so scary. But since we can’t do that, all we can do is be cautious and take a long look at the water before we jump in.
7 Surfers Are Not Alone
Since we just opened up the precedent for gifs, we thought this was another one that fit in very well with this list. Part of the definition of Thalassophobia is that people have a fear of the sea and of sea travel. A ship seems like a very safe place to be in comparison to all other mediums of transportation. When you think about it, airplanes are just huge boxes of steel that fly by some kind of engineering miracle. There are so many car accidents every year, and so many people are killed that, if you look at the stats, you would probably walk everywhere. Oh yeah, pedestrians get run over all the time. Okay, maybe there are no really safe means of transport, but none of them is subjected to the will of nature as much as sea travel.
We talked about how surfers who look for big waves are crazy in their adrenaline seeking, but they are not the only ones who have to face the fury of the sea if something goes wrong. Just check out the guys on this ship. Any of those waves could have totally flipped them over and then that boat would become a very wet casket.
6 These Things
If you are the kind of person who likes browsing the Internet in your free time, there is a very good chance that you have come across a picture like this before. These underwater craters are arguably some of the most terrifying things we can find on our planet. Seriously, we don’t think volcanoes have anything on these things. That, right there, is pure darkness. You go from a lit-up environment into complete and utter darkness.
That is a place where no one knows and probably will never know what kind of creatures lurk. Sure, all of the scientists and probably that woman who was floating over it will try and tell you that there is nothing in there. It is just a big deep hole in the bottom of the ocean. But who are they to say that there is not a massive serpent down there just waiting for some idiot to show his face so it can grab some dinner?
5 Real Power
The fuel of our world today is undoubtedly oil. Everything runs on oil. If the world ran out of oil today, we would probably face some drastic changes in how people everywhere live. There would probably be riots and most governments all around could fall, but that is all besides the point. Leaving all the post-apocalyptic affairs aside, we could spend a little bit of time talking about how people get oil from the source. While there are land sources of oil, most of the deposits are on the high seas.
And at first, we really thought that would be very cool to work on an oil rig. You probably would make really good money as well. Nevertheless, after watching this little video, we started rethinking possible career paths. Like everything that happens on the sea, nature rules all, and that oil rig looked very vulnerable to those waves. Apparently, that is only a temporary platform that is supposed to work until a more permanent rig is installed. Nevertheless, we would not want to be in that temporary rig when the waves start hitting.
Another interesting aspect of the ocean is that things are not always as they seem to be. When you first looked at this picture, what did you think that was? Our first guess would be that the world was ending, and this was the result of a massive earthquake that opened up a crater next to that island. Now, everything is getting swallowed by this soon-to-be a tragedy.
However, this is actually a real place. And believe it or not, that island was not swallowed by that hole. The reason behind that is that the thing we see here is not exactly a “hole.” This is actually an optical illusion caused by the interaction of the water with sand and silt deposits. Somehow, when looked from above, the entire thing seems to be almost an underwater waterfall. The truth is that this is merely a runoff that is not nearly as deep as it looks. Still Thalassophobia-worthy, though.
3 Terrifying Creatures
The ocean is home to almost too many terrifying creatures. Some of them might be very small, but their size just makes you wonder how scary they would be if they grew to massive sizes. After you watch that gif, our explanation might make a little bit of more sense. The best example we could find of terrifying medium to small-sized creatures that we hope don’t even grow to shark sizes is the cuttlefish.
At a first and quick glance, this might just seem like your regular weird sea creature. It looks like a squid that got too lazy to grow. But the way this thing hunts is just terrifying. Cuttlefish are patient and ruthless killers. These animals have perfect camouflage and can hide better than any other animal in their native environment. Their strike, even as small as they are, is enough to give people with imagination nightmares for weeks. Just imagine that tongue grabbing hold of your arm while you are diving.
Another reason for people to be terrified of the sea is that most devastating hurricanes originate in the high seas. One of the most recent examples we had was Hurricane Harvey, which laid waste to Texas earlier this year. Even if you are not a resident of the areas that were affected by this disaster, you probably got a sense of how insane things must have been while everything was happening.
But nothing will make you realize you have Thalassophobia more than the idea that the ocean can turn places you usually went to in your day to day into wastelands. This is a picture supposedly taken in Lumberton, Texas in the aftermath of the hurricane. This is so that you can have an idea of how high the water rose in some places. We don’t know about you, but for us, that street sign looks deep enough for a shark to be swimming on a street where people used to walk.
Last but not least, we would like to dedicate an entry to your imagination. For us, the scariest thing about the ocean, and what makes Thalassophobia such a rational phobia, is that we don’t know what is lurking underwater. We have seen those ladies who almost became shark chow. We have seen the gigantic holes in the bottom of the ocean that lead to nothing but complete darkness. And there are many more images that can prove to you every rational person should have Thalassophobia as a safety measure before deciding to disrespect mother nature and the sea.
This is arguably the most powerful force on our planet, and it can hit you from all sides. It is almost insane to imagine how many things could go wrong and how many ways you could die in the ocean. There are shipwrecks, drownings, underwater volcanoes, and worst of all, creatures that people don’t believe are down there. So let us know what kind of monsters you think lurk in the depths and if you also believe that Thalassophobia is a rational fear.