. . . is a common one, shared by
anyone who has ever looked at the sea and imagined the monsters it
contains. It goes something like this. You're swimming in the ocean
just after dusk, salty black water surrounding you as far as you can
see. Weary from swimming, you rest for a moment, letting your feet
drift lazily down as you look at the points of light just
beginning to appear overhead. Panic, dull at first but growing
with intensity, hits when you realize that you cannot touch the
bottom. You decide you can brave the moment it would take to test
the water just beneath your toes but surface quickly in a panic when
you feel nothing.
It's then that you feel it; a gentle
swell lifting you from below and to the left, a movement of water
that indicates that you are not alone in this patch of sea and that
something . . . something big . . . . is very nearby.
Just as the thought registers, you turn in time to see a fin edging
its way through the water towards you. As it closes in, you
see a giant conical snout rising, its mouth yawning open . . .
My apologies to Peter Benchley aside,
the preceding sentences represent a primal fear that each and every
human possesses deep in their subconscious, a fear of being attacked
and eaten alive. There are a few predators on Earth are capable of
such a thing but none quite so terrifying as Carcharodon
carcharias, the Great White Shark. But is the
nightmare accurate? Is the monster the true beast or is there
another side to this magnificent creature?