The Great Mysterious Blue and What Lies Beneath: Society's Fear and Fascination

-Konnor Karpinski-

Since the dawn of time man has always been connected with water and the ocean. Whether drinking it, building ships and traveling across it, or even worshiping it as a deity in many early religions; water has always been the subject of perplexity to humanity for as long as time. Now in today's age, the ocean represent the last of our world that we haven't explored. The days of pioneers going into areas untouched by humanity has long been over, so now we try to instill that fear into the deep mysterious blue. With movies like "Jaws" and specials like "Shark Week", we are constantly trying to emphasize the terrors found at the beach. Despite the fact that you are twice as likely to get killed by a strike of lightning than by a shark attack. Although "Shark Week" has become some what of a commodity, people are still captivated by it for showing the raw intensity of these vicious sharks. By showing these mesmerizing shots of sharks flying through the air, that they are able to stretch the truth about these sharks and it still seem plausible. That's why after showing a special during "Shark Week" about how ancient submarine sized sharks known as 'megalodons' may still exist, a mini hysteria occurred online. People have become so accustomed to the horror of what lies beneath the ocean, they believed this story of these giant megalodons still lurking somewhere out there in these deep areas of the ocean, mostly because we can't go that deep in the ocean and prove otherwise. They used the well known pop cultural occurrence of "Shark Week" as a scare tactic for what may still be lying out in the ocean somewhere. It's not just "Shark Week", its ingrained into every aspect of pop culture that the ocean is a horrifying place. Even Animal Planet had a special on how these frightening looking mermaids may exist somewhere out there in the deep blue, in a similar fashion to the 'Megalodon' special, and unsurprisingly there was a similar reaction of shock and fear over something that was mostly fictionalized. It all boils down to the fact that we can't prove that these creatures don't exist due to the overwhelming expansiveness at the bottom of the ocean. We've been to the highest peaks of the world and discovered almost all of the creatures that fly and run across our lands. It's the mysteriousness of the undiscovered ocean that scares us  as a society that adheres to ideology like "Curiosity killed the cat". So between these scare stories of possible sea monsters and the exaggerated threat of sharks in the ocean, its surprising that people even go in the water at all. It just goes to perpetuate our fear of the unknown and the unexplored. We have always been fearful of the mighty sea, but now as a society where we constantly villainize the ocean through pop culture phenomena like "Shark Week"; it shows that despite us having a connection with these waters, there is still this wilderness in the ocean that will always have more of a control there than us.