Top Ten Spots for Experiencing Sharks


Sharks have withstood quite an undeserved reputation as the loathsome, fierce monsters of the deep blue ever since Hollywood hits like Jaws replaced Moby Dick as the symbol of all that we humans fear about the sea. And certainly achieving a comfort level with sharks is well, as improbable as exchanging Seinfeldian moments with the guards at Buckingham Palace. It's just not going to happen. So how does one demystify the age-old reputation of the shark?

"We must have all of the facts, and the histories; our uniquely human curiosity and equally human fears insist upon it," writes GORP's wildlife expert John Grassy.

Encountering sharks underwater, nose to nose, in their own turf, may seem like an incredibly insane pursuit, but it is one that is necessary in order to quench that curiosity and begin to understand and appreciate these big fish and their finely tuned, exotic nature.

To do this, here are some of your options: Close the door and jump in the cage that separates you from the infamous great white in the chilly waters off South Africa or South Australia. Gaze up at the classic silhouette of swirling hammerheads in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Check out the locals in Thailand and the Caribbean—grays, black and white reef tips, and the gentle giants, whale sharks. Whether you suit up and take that plunge into a watery bowl of adrenaline-inducing encounters, or sit back and observe them in an aquarium, our ability to be part of the shark's world allows us to put them in context, as an integral part of the ocean's great chain of life.

And considering the bad rap sharks have gotten over the years, we owe it to them to deliver our apologies in person.


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