Sharks and Pop Culture

Ever since I was a little kid, my mom has always told me that her biggest fear is sharks. My grandma took her to see the movie Jaws when she was young and she never recovered... She can’t even look at a picture of a shark without screaming! I once put a a couple pictures of sharks on my Myspace page to prevent her from looking at it, and it worked! I asked her why she was so scared of sharks and she said “because they are three times bigger than you and can tear you to shreds in an instant. They are lurking in the darkest parts of the ocean below you where they aren’t even visible. That’s pretty damn scary...” I would honestly have to agree with her. While I can still enjoy watching shows and movies about sharks, meeting one in person under accidental circumstances is something I will always highly avoid. No beaches for me!

Is it the fact that these deep-sea creatures are so terrifying to a vast group of people that they dedicate an entire week to them on television? While they are also very interesting creatures I would have to say that most people watch Shark Week because they are waiting to see the huge great white sharks tear their bait to shreds. I personally watch Shark Week for the shark bite horror stories of people that have encountered these sharks and lived (barely) to tell about it. The horror that surrounds these creatures is what intrigues me. What’s the most terrifying thing about a shark? It’s teeth of course!! Something that’s not a likely accessory here in Oklahoma because we are not near the coast but in states like Florida, Hawaii, and California are the very cool shark tooth necklaces. Fashion accessories are at the top of pop culture in my opinion. So why do people choose to accessorize with the scary teeth of a shark?! I believe it is human beings nature to want to be at the top and conquer everything. We pretty much already do that, being the dominant species and all. But everyone knows that not many people, if any, could conquer a 16 foot great white shark. So maybe people wearing their teeth around their necks is a way to make them feel powerful. A shark tooth necklace connects popular culture and nature by providing some scary from nature and having it available for people to wear as an everyday accessory! According to the website, “Many surfers would wear the shark tooth necklace as a charm or talisman to bring them good fortune, keep away evil spirits and protect them from accidents and shark attacks.” (Read more about the legends of shark teeth necklaces at: Obviously for some people wearing a necklace made from shark teeth is a representation of their will to survive against deadly nature in the ocean and to maybe even praise them at being higher on the food chain than us. But some people don’t even surf and still wear these necklaces just to look “badass” and maybe pick of some chicks with a made-up story about how he fought a shark and got it’s teeth… Either way I believe that sharks are valuable to our underwater ecosystem, but are still deathly terrifying and will keep me from entering the ocean. A shark tooth necklace is an example of humans and wild sea life connecting through popular culture.