When the movie Jaws came out in 1975 the fear of sharks soared. People were suddenly tiptoeing a little more timidly into the ocean’s waters or avoiding them altogether. No wonder! The movie was frightening as it was of course intended to be. It was also so popular that it led to three later sequels. People apparently like to be scared.
Of course, the shark in the movies wasn’t real. It was a mechanical shark named Bruce (after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer) and was no danger to anyone or anything unless you count the movie itself. Cast and crew have said that Bruce was not very cooperative in the making of the movie.
The Great White
Within the 440 different species of sharks in the world today, more people are attacked by great white sharks than by any other type of shark. However, it’s important to understand that they are not typically predators of humans. In fact, they don’t even like the way we taste. Equipped with amazing senses, great white sharks are said to be able to smell even just one drop of blood floating in 10 billion drops of water.
Why do these creatures that don’t really want to eat humans sometimes attack us? This short video gives a good explanation along with a bit of humor.
“The 1975 movie Jaws fueled widespread fear and hatred of sharks, and the shark has been intensely hunted since. It is so endangered that many countries have taken steps to protect it. Ironically, the late Peter Benchley, the author of the book, supported shark conservation.”
Sieswerda, Paul L. 2002. Sharks. New York: Benchmark Books.