Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Sharks Teach Survival Too

"The ocean is their home. We only swim in it," ended the narrator of the National Geographic documentary.
Deprived of technology, pampered mammals like us are left unarmed and vulnerable to the harsh realities of nature. Living in the wild provides no luxury, and our lives hang by a thread as survival weighs down on us.
What ever happened to man being the highest form of life, like our theology teachers taught us? Surely, intellectual creatures like us will find a way to compensate for our inability to breathe underwater and lack of talent to build our fortresses in the deep blue sea.

After seeing two Great Whites (Carcharodon carcharias) attack a surfer (Homo sapiens), my itching fingers couldn't help but blog about how this man accumulated the guts to trifle with danger and fortunately for him, lived to brag about it. This particular surfer tested his luck the second time, and that's right, was attacked by a shark yet again. The shark failed to gobble him up (again) and merely ended up snacking on his surfboard.

Either this surfer dude possessed incredibly good luck or God is simply watching up there shaking his head in dismay. No matter how powerful God is, he couldn't stop us from committing mistakes. This is where freedom of choice comes in, and when people choose to become potential preys, God really can't do anything about it except let nature take its course and we are reminded that our bodies are also edible, tasty bleeding objects. Splashing happily in a shark's territory makes us fair game in the beautiful cycle of life.

Anyway, this surfer's story was understandable because the sport itself means putting one's life on the line --- meaning anybody involved in it has automatically signed a contract with Death. No issue there.
What truly appalled me was the bubbly group of people who treated the ocean like their own private swimming pool. They thought it amusing to take a dip in the waters 300 miles from shore, hours away from rescue without wearing any protective gear to boot, and found themselves shocked to witness one of their female companions attacked by a shark.

They never stopped to think that predators were under them probably thinking, "Ooooh, yay me. Lunch."
To the shark, the victim was served on a silver platter. Take note this attack was unprovoked, but it was definitely careless of these people to jump in a situation that endangered their lives because it looked "fun".
Despite the fact that we are more likely to get killed by a donkey than a shark, this only goes to show how little we know and how uneducated we are when it comes to understanding nature.

Yet even as I ramble on how dumb their behavior was, it's in the past. All people do dumb things ---- the better ones being more honest about it, such as admitting their sins to make amends, than others.
It must be traumatic for the shark victims to see their lives flash before their eyes as the predator slowly decapitates them with its powerful biting power. These people may not have known the precautions, or were blind from the dangers of the wild.

Summer is widespread. People around the globe flock to beaches to enjoy a well-deserved vacation. Where there are beaches, there is marine life; and where there is marine life, there are predators looking for food; and where there are predators, there is danger; and where there is danger, there are humans jumping right in.
Sharks demand respect, and this includes respecting their territory. They are both fascinating yet misunderstood creatures and a potential threat to anything made up of flesh & meat. Any human is an exotic part of their menu.


Finally, always take precaution not just around sharks; there are smaller dangerous sea creatures living near the coast. Who would have guessed the dedicated animal conservationist Steve Irwin, who would wrestle alligators twice is height, would perish from the attack of a sting ray? His life, until death, was a melodramatic soap opera of Mother Nature and of survival.

You don't have to be an environmentalist or a nature-lover to be part of the environment, because you already are. This means all laws of nature apply to you --- with every breath, with every thought, with every calorie you gain sitting in front of the computer --- nature is working fastidiously and no time is wasted.

For more of my ramblings, feel free to click. :)

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