Thalassophobia is definitely a mouthful and it doesn’t exactly mean something good. Thalassophobia is defined as “an intense and persistent fear of the sea or sea travel.” Basically, if you are afraid of the ocean, or really, any large body of water in our opinion, you have thalassophobia.
The main cause for a person to have thalassophobia is because the vast majority of it is unknown. Knowing the ins and outs of something brings a person comfort. That’s why the majority of us chose to create and maintain a household of sorts. It’s also why coming home after a long trip is so comforting because it’s what you know. Not knowing something, as you can imagine, would give a person the opposite effect, and it would instil the feeling of fear. This is why we fear the unknown.
There are many reasons why the open ocean is something that people fear. The main one is the simple fact that we cannot control it. The second best reason is because we’ve only seen such a small sliver of the ocean, it’s almost laughable. Here comes the fear of the unknown again. Because we don’t know and understand the water that makes up the majority of the surface of our planet, we fear it and all of the animal and plant life that lives there.
15. We’ve Only Explored 5%
We as a human race have only explored 5% of the oceans and bodies of water on the planet we live on. According to the history of oceanography, the first scientific expedition that set out to explore the depths of the ocean was the Challenger expedition led by the British from 1872 to 1876. There are some people, however, that believe we have been exploring the ocean since further back than that. Who knows, at some point, we could come across something in the ocean that would lead us to believe that there were more prehistoric deep sea adventurers, some researchers think we already have. We have been able to discover a lot more about our ocean since the 1800s but, we still have 95% left to explore, so we’re nowhere even close to the end. Not knowing what other insane creations could be at the bottom trenches of our oceans is a seriously creepy fact.
14. Bad Things Happen In The Ocean
Of course, bad things happen while you’re at home, out riding a bike, taking a walk, or while you’re driving to work. The reason we freak out so much more when bad things happen in the ocean goes back to the fact that we are simply scared out of our wit in fear of the unknown.
Take the Bermuda Triangle, for example, we now believe that methane gas bubbles are leaking up from cracks under the sea and the gas is the main cause for the numerous planes, ships, and other vessels that seem to mysteriously “disappear,” sometimes without any wreckage or trace ever found. Since the ocean is an environment where we have very little and often no control, we have a hard time adapting to maritime disasters and complications.
13. We Know What Used To Live In The Ocean
There are too many terrifying creatures that used to live in our oceans. Most were prehistoric and not all were dinosaurs. Yes, there were scary aquatic dinosaurs swimming around way back in the day, but there was also gigantic aquatic sea life in general. We are very aware that great white sharks dwarf even a taller than average male, but the things that used to dominate our waters would eat great whites like goldfish; there isn’t even a comparison. If we had to navigate the open ocean in a time that also had prehistoric water beasts about, we wouldn’t have a chance. Even being near two creatures of such colossal size fighting each other, would kill us if the waves capsized the boat and we all drowned.
12. We Also Know There Is More Stuff We Never Knew About
There have been a great deal of scary monsters that have been discovered that lived in the past long ago. These apex water predators are horrifying nightmares that will surely keep us up at night. The only thing that could possibly be more frightening than all of the prehistoric animals and dinosaurs we do know about are the ones we don’t. There is so much of the ocean we have not explored that there could be ancient fossils so far down below the bottom of the ocean that we might never find them or know of their existence. Another fact we don’t have in our favor is the powerful erosive properties the ocean has. Have you seen the beautiful soft sand beaches, or the ones completely made of rounded glass pebbles? The ocean did that. So, what’s to say that there hasn’t been entire ancient aquatic species that have lived and died and every reminisce of them simply “washed away with the tide?” It could have easily happened.
11. The Sea Makes People Sick
Now, this isn’t scary or creepy, but it is rather unpleasant and, if you were already in a terrifying situation and you were also feeling sea sick you could, in theory, have foggy thoughts, make bad decisions and now all the sudden, you’re in a scary situation in the middle of the ocean. It’s a stretch, but the fact that it seems like the ocean tries to warn you to stay away at all costs is sort of creepy in itself. If you go near the shores, rip tides, waves, and undercurrents can take you down and if you make it into open water, the sea can rock you to make you sick, and it can create a storm seemingly out of thin air to capsize your vessel. If you are unfortunate enough to fall into the water then you’re surely a goner. If the terrifying creatures don’t take a bite out of you first, the waters will eventually succeed in drowning you since, you know, you can’t breathe underwater.
10. The Titanic Is Real (And That Terrifies Us)
Having a movie made of something like a historic event is pretty epic, but a few generations after its release, you might have groups of younger people believing that the entire story was one fabricated for the Hollywood screen. No matter how much you liked or disliked the movie Titanic, the event that it portrayed was real. The ship, The Titanic, struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and the ship couldn’t recover. There weren’t enough lifeboats to fit even half of the ship’s passengers and most were released into the water only being half full of potential survivors. The massive ship sank to a watery grave and a great deal of people perished. Even the musicians that continued to play music on the top of the deck as the ship went down was real. Because of this and other maritime tragedies, thalassophobia is alive and well inside most people making them stay far away from the mighty ocean.
9. Even Planes Aren’t Safe
You might think that you would be safer flying over the open ocean rather than boarding a craft destined to actually touch the water’s surface, but planes fall from the sky far more often than we would like. Even if you didn’t want to include all of the numerous planes that were lost to the infamous Bermuda Triangle, you just have to look back a few years at the Malaysian Flight 370. If you are unfamiliar with this specific flight disappearance, it was a Boeing 777 passenger plane that disappeared back in 2014. A nearby communications tower lost connection and the plane went “dark.” Nothing was ever heard or found again. There were 239 people on board, all now presumed dead. If you think that thalassophobia only applies to boats and such on water, you are very much mistaken.
8. Marine Animals Are Huge
Did you know that if you have a pet goldfish, it will only grow to be the size of the tank that it lives in? For example, if you had a goldfish in a fishbowl, it would be a very small goldfish, however, if you have a goldfish in a tank that was designed for a shark, and much larger in size, the goldfish would grow to fit its environment. The same thing happens to the creatures in the ocean. Of course, the ocean is the largest thing we have on this planet which allows the animal and plant life within it to grow to gargantuan proportions. Even things that you would think would be small, like starfish and regular fish, are larger than the cars with drive! That’s insanely scary!
7. We Have Monsters Associated With Water
For whatever reason, we tend to assign “monsters” to things we fear the most, in this case, it’s open water, or thalassophobia. Now, water beasts such as the Loch Ness Monster, Morag, Champ, or Tahoe Tessie, since they are supposed beasts of isolated bodies of water, aren’t actually part of the fear of the sea, but it’s close enough. There is a great deal of people that fear the open waters of the rivers, estuaries, and lakes that these aquatic monsters reside in. The worst part about the monsters that live in waters that are not the ocean is that they aren’t all made up. Have you ever heard of the television show called River Monsters? The entire show is about showing you the scary, and REAL creatures that live in rivers. Not only are these snakes, fish, and other creatures very dangerous, some of them are massive!
6. Most Animals In The Water Are Dangerous
Hello! We don’t know if there is another sentence out there that speaks more truth than this. Not to creep you out but we are only talking about the 5% of the ocean that we have somewhat explored. So, in theory, the next few years could uncover something we had no clue about. A cryptozoologist could only hope, right? One of the main reasons why marine life is so damn scary is because we can’t take it one on one. Let us explain. If you are in the water with a shark, you’re terrified, right? Of course! Now, if you and that same shark were out of the water on a deck, it’s a lot less scary. Being in a certain environment, in this case, the water, adds a whole new element to survival that we rarely have to think about. If being able to “breathe” while you drown wasn’t enough for aquatic life to trigger your thalassophobia, consider the fact that the level of camouflage, lure and ambush tactics, and execution style displayed by these animals far surpasses our own. How can we even compete?
5. The Ocean Itself Is Super Deadly
If the things in the ocean don’t scare you, the ocean itself should. Why? It should for the same reasons imminent death should strike fear into your heart. If the ocean doesn’t drag you under and kill you, it can totally wash away your entire city. Between bad ocean storms, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tidal waves, it almost seems like nothing good comes from the ocean. What makes all of these natural disasters even worse is that the majority of the population here on Earth can’t swim, which means if anything happened, as far as a tsunami or hurricane, or even extreme flooding, they wouldn’t even have a chance. This also goes back to the supreme fear of the unknown. Not knowing how to swim in the ocean full of scary things has to be even worse than plain old thalassophobia.
4. We Can’t Breathe Underwater
OK, Captain Obvious, of course no one can breathe underwater unless we have the tools to do so, like scuba diving equipment. It may sound completely ludicrous but not being able to breathe takes a scary situation and makes it absolutely terrifying. Now, let’s think. What is drowning? It’s the act of suffocating while underwater, usually because your lungs fill up with water instead of the much-needed air. You don’t even have to encounter anything in the ocean, as long as you’re suffocating, you have enough to fear. Some people that experience thalassophobia just have to see a picture like this one before it feels like their throats start closing making it harder to breathe, as if they were drowning. Sometimes the mind can play cruel tricks when you engage with your fears.
3. The Deeper You Go The Scarier It Gets
A truly frightening notion is thinking about everything we haven’t seen at the very bottom of the sea bed. It seems that, judging from the deep sea creatures we do know about, things, plants and animals alike, get scarier as you descend. Not only do these animals get scarier, but they become more alien-like as well as more resilient. The force of the pressure down there alone would squish us to death, but there are fish, sharks, crustaceans, and other animals that not only survive but thrive in some of the most inhospitable environments known to man. If that doesn’t scare you, we don’t know what will. It seems like the deeper the ocean gets, the greater our thalassophobia grows.
2. The Flora And Fauna Down Below Are Terrifying
If the things in the deep blue sea aren’t trying to ambush you, taste you, wrap you up in tentacles, or swallow you whole, then they’re busy trying to figure out the best way to make you go away. Sea creatures are NO JOKE. Even the plants that grow beneath the water’s surface are out to get you. Don’t think that it has to be big to hurt or kill you either, some of the deadliest things in the ocean are also some of the tiniest organisms on Earth. Another completely horrifying fact about the monsters in the water is their scary ability to adapt. Yes, some of the more insane adaptations have taken millions of years but, it still happened, and they are surviving better now for it. If you thought you had a slim chance against animals on land, you have zero chance with anything that calls the water it’s home.
1. Most Of Everything Is Unknown
We sort of covered this way back in the beginning, but take another moment to really think about this. We have explored and discovered so little about the bodies of water on our Earth that we still have 95% left to go. In the past decade alone we as a human race have discovered things that live in the ocean that we never would have even dreamed about before we captured proof of it. We have found so many things just in the last few years, just imagine how much we are going to be able to explore in the coming years with all of the new fangled equipment that wasn’t available to us at the beginning of modern ocean exploration. It is both awe-inspiring as well as terrifying, and we don’t even know if global warming is waking something up at the very bottom of the ocean. If you didn’t have thalassophobia before, you do now.
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