50 Terrifying Photos That Make Us Crave Distance from the Ocean

You may already be aware that humans have only explored a mere 5% of the Earth’s oceans. However, brace yourself for some mind-blowing facts. Did you know that the number of viruses in the ocean surpasses the amount of stars in the Milky Way? And did you ever imagine that the deepest part of the ocean extends a staggering 36,200 feet below the surface? Prepare to delve into the fascinating world of hydrothermal vents, where temperatures can reach up to a scorching 700 degrees Fahrenheit. But fear not, if you were ever to venture that deep, the immense water pressure would crush you before the heat could melt you away.

Feeling a bit uneasy yet? If so, you might just have thalassophobia, an intense fear of large bodies of water. While some of us revel in beach trips and swimming in serene lakes, these places evoke sheer terror in others. However, if you possess a keen curiosity about exploring the mysteries of the ocean and the immense power it holds, you’re in for an intriguing experience.

Below, we have compiled a collection of captivating (and possibly hair-raising) posts from the Thalassophobia subreddit. Feel free to upvote the pictures that enthrall or unsettle you the most, and share your thoughts on vast bodies of water in the comments. If you’re up for even more spine-chilling photos, check out Bored Panda’s previous article on thalassophobia. Now, get ready as we set the stage with the iconic Jaws theme song!

#1 Deep Water Swell

#2 A Huge Wave

#3 Alex Dawson’s Award-Winning Viciously Haunting Scuba Diving Photos

The Thalassophobia subreddit has been around since 2013, and it’s become an incredibly popular place since then. It currently has 1.2 million members, and it is home to countless posts featuring how frightening and amazing the world’s bodies of water can be. From photos of creatures that look like they’re from another planet to gigantic waves that could take out entire towns, this online community certainly makes it clear how one could be scared of vast bodies of water. Personally, I’ve always loved swimming in the ocean and taking a trip to a lake, but it only takes one close encounter with drowning to remind you just how powerful water is.

If you’ve never heard of thalassophobia, let’s break down exactly what it is and how it typically manifests itself. Similar to any other specific phobia, Healthline explains that thalassophobia can include symptoms such as restlessness, feeling on edge or worried, being unable to concentrate, irritability, muscle tension, sweating or looking flushed, increased heart rate, trembling, chest pain or discomfort, a feeling of impending doom, a sense of loss of control, upset stomach, chills or hot flashes, and trouble sleeping. In short, it can certainly negatively impact a person’s quality of life.

#4 When You’re Swimming And Feel Seaweed Touching Your Feet….. But Actually

#5 Posted On R/Damnthatsinteresting But Thought It Fit Better Here

#6 The Finnish Nature Photograph Of The Year By Antti Strang

If you start to feel like you’re experiencing any of those symptoms just by viewing the pics on this list, feel free to swim away as fast as you can. These photos can be extremely triggering. But if you want to combat your thalassophobia head on, exposure therapy is one possible form of treatment. Betterhelp recommends finding a fitting method to expose yourself to what exactly is causing your fear of bodies of water. “If your fear stems from an inability to swim in deep water, you may take a swimming class,” they explain on their site.

“If you’re worried about sea creatures, you may try visiting them at an aquarium. If you’re able to look directly at your fears, you may be surprised by how quickly you’re able to move past them.” It is best to do this with the help of a professional, so today, viewing this list on your own might be a bit too overwhelming. But if you are experiencing discomfort, anxiety or fear around topics such as this, know that you’re not alone.

#7 Standing At The Edge

#8 No Land In Sight?

#9 Freediving Near Iglesias, Italy

It’s actually quite common to have some sort of fear revolving around bodies of water. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 3% of Americans have aquaphobia, and many people have other water-related phobias including ablutophobia (fear of bathing), cymophobia (fear of waves), megalohydrothalassophobia (fear of underwater creatures or objects), submechanophobia (fear of submerged objects), and thalassophobia. These phobias often stem from past traumatic events involving water, negative stories about water, their family history or being exposed to someone else with the same fears.

#10 This Shot Was Taken Off Moalboal On The Island Of Cebu, Philippines. This Guy Was Free Diving With Just A Mask. I Was Lucky Enough To Catch Him Coming Up Through A Bait Ball. Shot With A 5dsr 8-15 Mm Lens Set At 10 Mm 200th Sec @ F8 2 Ysd1’s

#11 Worlds Smallest Inhabited Island

#12 Thalassophobia And Submechanophobia Combined Into One Photo

But aside from people who have a phobia associated with water, plenty of other people are simply scared in deep water. According to Cision, 46% of American adults are afraid when in a pool where the water goes over their heads, and 64% of American adults are scared in deep, open water. This is a perfectly normal reaction; technically, there is possible danger present when we’re surrounded by water so we should be aware of it. It’s important to stay safe and avoid being alone in deep water because you never know what will happen. And if your fear comes from being unable to swim, don’t be afraid to do something about it! It’s never too late to learn how to swim and feel more confident in water. (Not to mention how much fun swimming is!)

#13 The First Underwater Photograph. At A Depth Of 195 Feet In The Mediterranean

#14 In France, “La Fosse Dionne” Is A Seemingly Bottomless Water Pit. Despite Several Attempts By Divers, Its Depth Has Been Impossible To Find. Exploring It Is Now Strictly Controlled As Multiple Deaths Have Occured

#15 Saw This Picture On Facebook From The Page Wonders Of The Planet Earth. A Shipwreck Being Reclaimed By The Sea

M. Ellen Dash, founder and CEO of Miracle Swimming for Adults in Sarasota, Florida, told Cision, “People want to know how to swim. Those who learn to swim welcome summertime. But many fail swimming lessons. Unbeknownst to most instructors, the failure is often due to panic during lessons,” she explained. “Many people consider panic a normal step of learning. However, students will only endure this emotional pain to a point, after which they quit. If they return to traditional lessons years later determined to learn, they are often met with the same system that is blind to the harm done by panic.  The cycle continues.”

“It’s okay to be afraid in water,” Dash says. “No one is afraid for a silly reason. Yet everyone needs to know how to swim. Find a program that will work for you.”

#16 The Arch In The Blue Hole, Egypt Which Has Infamously Claimed Up To 200 Lives

#17 Rebreather Diving, Eastern Slovakia

#18 When You Fear Of Flying And Your Fear Of Water Meet Eachother

If the idea of getting in the ocean is just too much for you, perhaps we can assuage some of your fears. I consulted this list from Parade that explains why we have no need to hold some of the most common fears associated with the world’s oceans. For example, if you’re scared of sharks, it might be helpful to know that it’s extremely unlikely to be bitten by one. While hundreds of millions of people take a dip in the ocean every single year, only between 70-100 of them worldwide will have a bite taken out of them by a shark. “Sharks’ senses are legendary so this isn’t because sharks don’t know we’re there, it’s because we’re just not on the menu,” says marine biologist David Shiffman. Just so you know, more people are killed by vending machines than sharks.

#19 This Photo Is Anxiety Inducing For Some Reason

#20 Stairs Down To The Flooded Level Deep Inside A Mine

#21 Point Nemo, You Are Closer To Astronauts Aboard The ISS Than Humanity

Are stingrays another sea creature that makes you uneasy? Rest assured, their stings are rarely fatal. Shiffman explained to Parade that stingrays are not even capable of stinging us unless we step on them, so if you’re in an area that’s known to house them, try walking using the “stingray shuffle”. Basically, this just means to drag your feet across the sea floor rather than picking up your feet with every step. This way, you’re much more likely to just scare them away than to accidentally end up with a sting.

#22 I Figured You Would Appreciate This

#23 The Idea Of This Tunnel Caving In While You’re 60 Ft Below The Surface Of The Ocean

#24 Abandoned Silver Mine Shafts. Lake Superior Thunder Bay Ontario

If fear of drowning is what triggers your thalassophobia the most, understand that it is a reasonable fear to have, but there are also plenty of precautions that can be taken to ensure your safety in water. First, it’s important to have protection. Wear a life jacket, and make sure you have friends or family members nearby in case anything goes wrong. Learn basic swimming skills, and don’t take risks by venturing out into deep or unpredictable water. And always be prepared for an emergency. Learn CPR, and swim somewhere that has a lifeguard on duty. By taking a few extra steps and safety precautions, you can have a great time enjoying the ocean. (And if you’re really too nervous, feel free to stay on the sand building castles and searching for seashells!)

#25 Reminds Me Of Spirited Away And Not In A Good Way

#26 I Used Night Mode On My Phone And…

#27 I Could Never

I hope this article has not given you a new phobia to discuss with your therapist this week. The ocean is an incredible place, and while we may know little about it, we do know that plenty of people (myself included!) have made countless, wonderful memories by visiting it. It’s good to be cautious, but don’t let fear keep you from enjoying your life. Keep upvoting the photos that you find particularly haunting or captivating, and let us know in the comments whether or not you have thalassophobia. Then, if you’d like to dive even deeper into the world of being frightened by huge bodies of water, you can find our last article on the same topic right here!

#28 Somehow This Is Also Thalassophobia And Claustrophobia. It’s An Illustration

#29 Dean’s Blue Hole In Long Island, The Bahamas (Via Willtrubridge)

#30 The Drop Off

#31 Posted This On R/Submechanophobia But Thought It Would Fit Here Too. And Odd Broken Pier Support That Looks Just Like A Hand

#32 Would You Spend The Night?

#33 Made My Spine Crawl Just A Little

#34 Calm But Eerie

#35 Imagine Being Stuck There

#36 Dragon Hole In The South China Sea Is The World’s Deepest Blue Hole, Plunging Down 300 M (987 Ft)

#37 Supposed To Be Relaxing But It’s Actually Terrifying

#38 Oceans Drop Of For You To Remember How Small You Are

#39 I Made Some Art To Recreate The Feeling From A Beach Dream I Had Where The Waves Were So Big They Blocked Out The Sun

#40 Lake Ponchartrain Causeway Bridge In Louisiana

#41 The Wreck Of The Titanic. This Photo Gives Me Anxiety…

#42 The Final Moments Of The SS Andrea Doria (1956)

#43 This Creepy Dock I Was On Tonight

#44 Floating In A Ship

#45 Exploring The Mysteries Of The Ocean

#46 Sweden’s New Submarine

#47 This Teaser For The New Netflix Show “1899” Gives Me Chills

#48 Ah Yes, Underwater Active Volcanos And Mutant Sharks, That’s What The Ocean Needs, It Wasn’t Scary Enough As Is

#49 Into The Darkness

#50 Less Than A Quarter!

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