MOMMY… A shark!
Let me start off that there is a big misunderstanding about sharks! Ever since the movie Jaws came out in 1975 there is this story that every single shark on the planet is dangerous. This is complete nonsense. I just tried to find some statistics and to make a summary out of that. Per year there are around 80 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide. That means that a so-called rogue shark, a shark that chooses to try a piece of human flesh attacked a human without that the human provoked action with the shark. There are more shark attacks but often provoked by touching them or trying to feed them and things like that. Well, that’s never a good idea not even with a nice looking turtle, they snap your hand right off as well. Just do NOT touch sea-life. So sharks attack about 80 humans per year. Now let’s have a look at fatal car accidents a year. 1.300.000 fatalities per year. That is 3287 per day. Someone told me once the chances getting hit by a coconut falling out of a tree on your holiday is bigger being attacked by a shark.
My first encounter with a shark was in 2009 when I jumped into the water in Thailand for diving. The dive instructor told us in the morning that if we had some luck on our side that we might see some Whaleshark. This story I heard for about 20 dive trips and never saw a single one so I called “Bullshit” with a capital B. The whale shark can be up to 12.5 meters long and the funniest thing is. They swim slowly and eat only plankton. In the 2 photo’s below you can see it in perspective how big they can be. In the right photo that little guy below the Whaleshark! That’s me. did you find me? haha. The instructor was right and I owed him a beer after diving. I should call “bullshit” more often, might bring luck.
My Second experience was the best I’ve ever had and it was in a town called Umkomaas in South-Africa. I wanted to cage dive with great white sharks, when we arrived they told us that these odds are small to see them there and that in that area they more see Blacktips/whitetips and tiger sharks. One of the guys spoke so nicely about the free diving with the sharks that I decided to do it. Freediving with sharks, I tell you I shit my pants at that moment as well. I went back the day after took my gear with me including my camera so I could show you guys later. Got everything and took a zodiac boat towards open water, about 20 minutes later we arrived on our first spot. I knew there was a possibility of seeing sharks but we did not see them from the boat. Like what you always see in movies. What you can not see you can’t be afraid of right? We dove in and after 3 minutes during our descent to 15 meters depth, I saw my first JAWS! A blacktop shark about 1.3 meters long. I was going through my bottle of oxygen like a rocket I can tell you that. My first flesh-eating human killer (NOT!) and they look like mean machines. After sinking of to the bottom we saw another 2 sharks and I started to get more at ease with them being around. About 35 minutes later we got back on the boat and we thought that was it. We saw some sharks now we can go home. Nope! Now they took us to the next spot. They put some fish in a bucket to attract sharks towards them and lowered this bucket into the water. (they are not allowed to feed them) Now I could see what I only saw in terrible thrillers, a dozen sharks tumbling around the zodiac boat. And knowing that we still had one dive to go. I was afraid to even let myself fall backward from the boat, you might just fall on top of 1 of these sharks. Well, we dove in and about 40 sharks just circled around us peacefully. They came up to us to have a look and then moved on. After some time at 10 meters depth, we heard a sound of someone ticking on metal to get attention and pointed towards a big one. The sharks we had around variated in size between 1 meter and 2.5 meters but then this big one, this shark was massive about 4, 4.5 meters long. The other sharks suddenly looked like small goldfish compared with this Tigershark that just showed up. What a beautiful experience.
I hope everyone could experience this and the fishing and killing of sharks would reduce a lot. They are beautiful and don’t harm people unless you look like a seal. PLEASE SHARE THIS and STOP SHARK KILLING! (I feel a bit like an activist right now)
If you want to know more about sharks press here.
This video below I made during my dive trip in Umkomaas. I hope you like it. If you have any comments or questions regarding this article please let me know in the comment section below.