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Sharks Do Not Deserve Their Reputation Essay

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A fisherman sits in his boat on the open sea, alone save for the fish below the water’s surface. The calmness of the ocean is disrupted by something underneath, something big. Fear seeps through the fisherman’s heart as he sees the shiny gray dorsal fin pierce the sun-glinted surface of the ocean. The creature stops its ritual and pulls its head out of the water, revealing the face of a great white: scars from countless battles in the ocean’s depths, a mouth full of lethal daggers, and dark, savage eyes. This image is what a majority of people believe to be the shark. They believe it to be the bloodthirsty sea monster that appears in countless works of literature and films, but science says otherwise. The classic picture painted by the…show more content…
At that point, Shark Man takes a shortcut to the beach and changes into a shark, proceeding to kill and devour any person who did not heed his advice. (Peachin 4) Despite the violent Hawaiian stories, sharks were not always seen as murderous creatures. According to local tradition of the Solomon Islands, if a man had create power during his lifetime, that power would carry over after his death. That man would become a tindalo, a powerful spirit. His image would be displayed at a sacred spot that was associated with him during his lifetime. According to the legend, a tindalo did not stay deceased; he could decide to inhabit another living creature, including a shark. (Peachin 6) In Vietnam, the shark was held in high esteem. The whale shark was called Lord Fish, and its bones were taken to selected temples and given sacred burials. In the Fiji islands, the high chiefs were believed to be the direct descendants of the shark god Dakuwaqa. The ancient Japanese used to pay homage to Shark Man, called Same-Hito, the god of storms. (Peachin 7) Most ancient cultures did not have direct access to sharks, and relied on stories brought to them by fishermen returning from the ocean. What little information the fisherman gave to their fellow people earned sharks an undeserved reputation. (Peachin 7) Sharks remained a mystery for most people until the summer of 1916, when a shark killed several people who were swimming on the New Jersey
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