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And This is Why I'm Afraid of the Open Ocean

By Petr Knava | Social Media | June 29, 2020 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | June 29, 2020 |


I suffer from a wee bit of thalassophobia. Fear of the sea. Or, more specifically in my case, fear of the deceptive emptiness of the open ocean. Vast stretches of water that look from a distance as if they contain nothing but which are actually teeming with life (for now). An alien world that we as a species fled a long, long time ago, which warns against treating it with anything other than the utmost fearful respect with that forbidding, blank countenance. The ultimate poker face. Despite this fear of the ocean, I always want to swim far out into it whenever I get the opportunity. Maybe it’s a bit like what the French call l’appel du vide—or ‘the call of the void’: That tiny voice that tells you to leap when you find yourself gazing from a great height. Maybe it’s not and it’s just that I’ll take any opportunity to reference that phrase because it’s just so damn cool. Whatever the case, if I’m on a beach, I’m swimming to the buoys on the horizon. It’s just gotta happen. If anyone else with me is up for it, fine, but if not, no worries, I’m going alone. I’ll be turning a paler shade of terror-white with each stroke on the way out, and going back will feel like the mad run up the stairs from the basement you did as a kid after turning off the light to prevent the monsters from getting you, but dammit it’s gotta be done. I won’t wear goggles and I don’t want to know what’s manifesting underneath my flapping feet, the potential for horror multiplying as I take myself further away from shore, but I just have to make the journey. One time a friend swam with me. He wore goggles and he took a great amount of joy from seeing the look on my face each time he pointed out the sheer amount of wildlife ballooning in abundance beneath our feet as we progressed. ‘Knava, it’s amazing, I’ve never seen this many fish in my life!’ Sadistic sonofabi**h. I hope he lives this clip vividly in his dreams for the next, oh, two or three nights? (Click through to get the full pants-filling experience.)

This is why I stay away from the water… from r/TheDepthsBelow

Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Getty Images

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