Sharks: Monsters of the Ocean… or of only our Imagination?

I think sharks are adorable. You probably think you read that wrong. You didn’t. I think that sharks, with their thousands of teeth, scaley skin (technically called dermal denticles, in case you were wondering), and often giant bodies (which, by the way, swim in the way they do thanks to bones made of cartilage, the same thing in our noses and ears), are cute. And no, I’m not crazy.

Sharks are portrayed by media the way that some minority groups and celebrities are. They are made out to be evil, malicious creatures who have absolutely no purpose on this Earth other than to attack humans. I think that it is important to see things from both sides, so I won’t deny that sharks have attacked humans.

However, seeing things from the other sides is the reason I like sharks so much.

Sharks have been my favourite animal since the fourth grade. For school we had to fill out reading logs, and I noticed that all of the books I had read fell under the category of fiction. Wanting to impress my teacher, I decided to read something non-fiction, and that something happened to be a book about sharks.

Ever since then, I have seen sharks in a different light than I did before. I know that they can be dangerous, and I understand why people are afraid of them, but I also know that they are amazing creatures that are underestimated and undervalued.

Called the villains of the ocean by many, sharks have amazing abilities that are often ignored by the people who live in fear of that hard-to-miss dorsal fin rising from the ocean, followed by a colossal shark emerging from the depths of the ocean (all the while, while the jaws theme song is playing).

Oh, sorry. Did I mention that that was a gross exaggeration? I have done a shark cage experience before, in Hawaii, and I am alive and well, as evidenced by the fact that I am now blogging about it.

Now, let me make something clear: I think cats are adorable, too. That probably makes more sense to you. Why is that, though? Why is it more acceptable and sensible that tiny, furry kitty cats are considered adorable, but sharks aren’t?

In a strange sort of way, it makes sense. Not because it is “right”, by any stretch of the imagination; but rather because it is what we have been taught to believe. Through movies and other forms of media, we have been taught that sharks are scary, and cats are cute, and I believe that if we have already once convinced our minds of these facts, we can convince them again (to not believe what we had previously convinced them of).

Sharks are an example of the fact that we shouldn’t make judgements based on stereotypes, and media portrayals, and that just because we think we know something, that doesn’t automatically make it correct.While I know that a lot of people are terrified of sharks, and that reading this wouldn’t at all make a difference in their viewpoint, I also know that we all have different opinions, and that is part of makes life so interesting and amazing.

Thanks for reading!

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