Thalassophobia, the fear of open water, has affected humanity in many ways throughout our existence.
Perhaps spawning from genetic memories of our most perfect ancestral ties to the water, from long before mammals existed and the ocean was the only source of life.
Or perhaps the fear has existed far more recently, from the fear of fishing boats out on the sea being tossed by waves and sinking into the depths with no bottom or land in sight.
Modern cinema hasn’t helped assuage our fears of the ocean, with inspiring tales like Jaws to provoke a panic every time a fish is seen breaming in the shallows.
The fear of the ocean is concretely rooted in our cultures and histories as a human species, perhaps for a good reason.
Earth’s largest mammals, the Whales, are in the ocean and are big enough to sink our boats with just a gentle nudge and have mouths so giant they wouldn’t even notice us if we accidentally got trapped inside.
This is what happened to one Michael Packard, a living example of why those who fear the ocean may be right to do so.
10 /10 Under The Sea
Michael Packard, a lobster diver in Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown in Massachusetts, went out for his usual dives in the early morning hours.
As a licensed commercial lobster diver, his job was to go as far down as possible toward the ocean floor to scrounge up lobsters by hand into traps.
He was suddenly, inexplicably shoved into the darkness of a Humpback Whale’s mouth about ten feet from the ocean bottom.
9 /10 Jonah And The Whale
It didn’t take long for him to realize what happened. At first, he thought it was a shark but felt no teeth, and there was no chewing going on.
He was surrounded by the squeezing pressure of muscles and assumed, as he should have, that a whale gulped him up.
He was still wearing his scuba gear and had breath to spare, but the situation was dire. One strong gulp, and he’d be swallowed.