When people ask my greatest fear, they’re usually surprised by the answer: Whales. No, I didn’t have a traumatic whale-watching experience as a child; I’ve never even seen one firsthand. My fear stems from a much more rational place…Pinocchio. From the first time I saw that little marionette traveling down the gullet of Monstro the Whale, I’ve been haunted by images of whales lurking beneath dark water, just waiting to strike the next unsuspecting victim. And don’t even get me started on Free Willy. Watching that movie was like taking bamboo shoots up my fingernails (when asked years later if I wanted to see 3-D Sharks & Whales at IMAX, I swear I had PTSD flashbacks).
But, after years of enduring the playful taunts of my friends for what many perceive as an illogical fear, I’ve finally been vindicated with the news earlier this summer of a 13-year-old Australian kid who was maimed by a humpback whale (okay, a bit dramatic, but he did break his collarbone). And who could forget last summer when another whale crash-landed on the deck of a boat in South Africa? Are you sensing a trend here?
So, while some still maintain that whales are the “gentle giants” of the sea, I’m swimming with one eye open. Those things are 80,000 pounds of pure terror. Call me one smart cookie.
Posted by Abby