Sharks - Rulers of the Ocean

Sharks - Rulers of the Ocean

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Have you ever seen Jaws? Do you remember that blood-curdling scream as one of the girls was being attacked by the great white? That is how I felt as the sharks started to circle us. You could see the fear in our eyes. You could feel the ocean shudder as we all shook from excitement and trepidation. This is how most people feel about sharks. That is why researchers are trying their hardest to dispel all of the rumors about sharks. The only problem the researchers have is the local governments. They setup regulations banning people from coming in contact with any endangered animal. Sharks are not quite on the endangered list, but they are threatened by man. Until we find out everything we want to know about these animals we will be ignorant to their unique place in the balance of life. I wanted to know more about sharks, so I took the first step; I went to the ocean.

This part of our trip to Fiji was the main attraction. All of the other dives led up to this one. We were sitting at the bottom of a reef head, which was about 100 feet below the surface. As we descended, all we could see was this huge tornado of fish and sharks. One kind of fish, the jack, was huge. They were about a foot and a half tall, about six inches wide and about two feet long. There were also about 8 potato groupers. The potato grouper is about a foot long to about three feet long, sometimes weighing in at over 100 pounds. There were hundreds of fish. When we were settled on our perch, the show really began.

They came in from the deep blue abyss. Slicing their way through the ocean currents, they judged us with their grayish eyes as they passed. They were testing us, as they got closer every time. The sharks would come in and out of our field of view, passing inches over our heads, as they glided through our bubbles. We could see their scales they were so close to us. Every time they passed, I could feel them brush me with the water. Their tails were so strong that I was pushed over by the water that they moved. Their colors were as different as a person’s skin tones, from gray to blue for their upper bodies, but for their lower bodies it was an off white; almost gray.

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Every time a shark swam by me, my heart throbbed. I felt like I was going to be eaten, but the sharks just passed by me again. I was scared. No, I was terrified, but I was also in awe of these majestic animals.

If only one could see what I see, one would know why I love these animals. Their bodies are built for destruction but they are graceful and aerodynamic. The biggest part of them that causes the fear we have for these creatures, is their teeth. The multi-rows of gnarly, saw-like, replenishing teeth for some reason channel a deep terror into our brains, freezing our motions or sending us into a fury of flailing arms and legs, every time a shark gets near us. The sharks themselves are docile creatures. If provoked, they can strike; just like a human. If they are not provoked, they will treat you as a member of the reef, as big as them, but not a threat. The moment we become a threat in their eyes, is when we venture underneath them in the food chain.

I want to know more. I want to see it all. I am not allowed to. The rules and regulations set up by ignorant governments are what truly is holding back researchers in this current day. We are not allowed to get within a certain distance of them; they have to come to us. Then without being able to approach these animals, we cannot find out what makes them tick. Without knowing what makes them fight for existence, we will never know how to live side by side with these animals; we will always be fighting rules and regulations of some government for knowledge of the creatures that live in our oceans.

They rule the oceans, they bring fear to our eyes, they demand our respect, and we give it to them. By diving with sharks, I learned how beautiful they are, and I realized how endangered they are. The fear that people have for them is what is killing them off. They deserve more than we give them, and the planet does not know how to deal with that. I hope that one day we can all know how to appreciate the wondrous giants we cower and hide from.
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