Thursday, August 16, 2012
I've decided I really dislike the term "unprovoked shark attack". I understand that in some cases, maybe sharks attack because people are trying to catch or study them, or they're feeling threatened by someone, etc. but using that phrase for other shark attacks makes it sound like the shark in question saw a human, recognized it as an intelligent being, and thought "that human isn't provoking me, but I don't even care. I'm gonna go bite it, sever its' arteries, maybe take off a few limbs... because, hey- I'm a shark and I can do whatever the hell I want." I'm pretty sure that if sharks did have cognitive thoughts while attacking someone, they would be "I'm a predator. I have to eat things to live. That thing is in the ocean... I'm gonna go see if I can eat it, because it's in my habitat and if I don't eat, I'll die." Are they terrifying? Yes. Is one of my worst fears being attacked by a shark? Sure. But do I think they're man eating monsters? No. I just don't understand why they're talked about like they're these oceanic villains who go around attacking people who were just minding their own business and being as non-provocative as possible. First of all, that's giving sharks way too much credit. Secondly, the very act of entering a shark's habitat is provoking them. The only time I want to see the phrase "unprovoked shark attack" is in an article about a woman who was reading a book in her living room and was savagely attacked by a shark who, by some miraculous happenstance, had the notion and physical ability to travel into the suburbs.