Selachophobia ( Fear of Sharks) or the extreme fear of sharks probably conjures up images of the Great White shark as depicted in Jaws, the popular blockbuster movie known for its dramatic music and superb visual effects that exacerbated the fear of sharks in the minds of its viewers. While a majority of the viewers tend to forget this fear of sharks; a Galeophobic individual continues to experience it persistently and irrationally.
Causes of phobia of sharks
As stated before, media is the most likely cause of the fear of shark. Sharks are portrayed as vicious or dangerous creatures. Movies like Jaws (1975), Dark Tide (2011) and Deep Blue Sea (1999), etc have particularly depicted these creatures in a negative light.
The physical appearance of sharks is often deemed as scary. They have razor-sharp teeth and cold emotionless eyes. Their fins (which are seen protruding out of the water in movies) are viewed as ‘ominous’. To young children and anxious adults, these can conjure up frightening images of bloodthirsty, violent creatures that are seeking human prey.
Treating and overcoming the Phobia of sharks
Educating oneself about sharks can be extremely helpful in overcoming shark phobia. Doctors and therapists are especially blaming the media for exaggerating shark attack stories. In reality, sharks are not cold-blooded killers they are made out to be; only 30 species of sharks in the world are dangerous or have been known to attack humans. Thus, your Selachophobia, as its definition says, is unjustified.