Galeophobia-- Sitting on a surfboard just off the coast with your feet dangling beneath your board in the deep dark sea, as if they were delicious drumsticks perfect for a shark to bite. Ok, maybe it isn't that bad, but the fear of sharks is definitely a real phobia known by the name Galeophobia. Suffers from this phobia don't necessarily need to be directly in the ocean to have this fear stem up, as just being on a boat can cause anxiety in itself just the thought of sharks being near, even when they're not.
The word Galeophobia is broken down from two Greek words in Galeos, which means shark with weasel like markings and Phobos, which means fear. The reason Galeos is referencing weasels is due to it’s Greek history, as the word Galeophobia can sometimes be in reference to the fear of weasels and/or cats. The word Galeos is taken from the Greek word root Galee, which means “polecat” or “weasel.”
Out of the 300+ shark species that we know of today, most of them will not attack a human, but that doesn't mean movies like Jaws haven't put a fear of sharks into mainstream culture. Out of all the sharks and the studies we have done to-date, only the Great White, Hammerhead and Tiger Sharks would occasional attack a human. Now this doesn't mean a shark fancies the taste of a human, especially with all that salt water taking over most of the taste, but rather what we look like in the water.
Humans when swimming on a board and when you look from below them, tend to mimic what a baby seal looks like. Not only do we mimic seals, but we also tend to look hurt in comparison to how agile and graceful a seal truly swims. On a positive note if there is one to be taken from a shark attack, is that 60% of victims do survive. Considering you are in their backyard and as humans we were not born in the seas, having a little over a 50% chance of living is a lot higher than I would have thought.
Ironically, the biggest shark of them all only eats plankton, this species of shark is known as the Whale Shark.
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