Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

The ocean is gorgeous. It's also vast. That's probably what makes it so ominous. How much do we actually know about it? Is it even possible to know?

Oh, and don't get me started on all those sea creatures down there. We're always coming across new ones, too.

Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing... That's why people attempted to demystify the deep––with some frightening facts, mind you––after Redditor matspud asked the online community,

"What's the scariest fact you know about the ocean?"

"They could be dragged away..."

"Right now, at this very moment, there are several people who are in the ocean alone, and nobody knows.

They could be dragged away from shore, they could be on the beach alone, they could be lost on an island, they could be on a small fishing boat completely lost, and nobody knows where they are."


That's terrifying.

Have you ever had the pleasure of reading about people who were mysteriously lost at sea? Here you go––

you're welcome.

"Knowing which way to swim..."

​"Riptides. Knowing which way to swim is practical knowledge that deserts me when I'm panicking."


I was caught in once and thankfully got myself out of it. The key: Swim parallel to the shore.

"Having grown up by the North Atlantic..."

"Having grown up by the North Atlantic... Rogue waves! Don't walk on the wet rocks or anywhere near them! Also had my head pushed underwater and hit against a rock on a calm placid day a few feet from shore, where I had been swimming since I was a kid. Seriously, you need to be careful even where you're most comfortable."


"You don't have that luxury."

"I'm late to the party, but as a scuba diver, the most important thing to know is that the ocean doesn't care about you. It might not be actively out to get you, but it's also not going to help you. You aren't really meant to be there and it's of no consequence what happens to you. Nothing there is conducive to you staying alive. It's an uneasy truce that you're the only real party to. So it follows that all the warnings about paying attention, knowing your equipment, and remembering your training are in fact not BS. You're a visitor, so treat it and yourself with respect. The ocean will continue what it's been doing for eons whether you're there or not. You don't have that luxury."


"Right off the coast of Baja..."

"Right off the coast of Baja, Humboldt squid that are about 4 to 6 feet long, have sharp serrated teeth in every sucker on their arms can take you from the surface and drag you to depths of 900 feet. You would just disappear from the surface and no one would ever hear nor see you again and you'd be mercilessly eaten by their beaks tearing grapefruit-sized chunks out of you."


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"With the right constructive interference..."

"With the right constructive interference of wavefronts in stormy weather, it is estimated that waves in the open ocean can reach heights of 50 meters (164 feet). These "rogue waves" are very rare and may explain the mysterious loss of certain large vessels, such as the Ocean Ranger."


"They can basically be found..."

"Rockfish, as the name suggests, camouflage themselves against rocks, and have needles in their spines, that inject you with highly toxic venom. They can basically be found anywhere in the world. Basically, any rock in the water is possibly a rockfish."


Growing up, my mother had me wear these water shoes while at the beach. I thought they looked dorky. But I realize she might have been on to something...

"We are poisoning the oceans..."

"Roughly 50% of our oxygen is produced by oceanic algae. Oceanic algae blooms are mostly phytoplankton, the exchange acting as a carbon sink as these are in turn eaten by larger creatures. We are poisoning the oceans at an unsustainable rate, it's not going to end well for us."


Want to depress yourself? Read some climate change papers...

"More than eighty percent..."

"More than eighty percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored."



"Really, its existence. Seriously imagine being in freezing cold water in complete pitch black so far from the nearest surface you don't know what's up or down. A bitterly cold sensory deprivation tank with monsters of all sorts and most unknown sharing the space with you."


Well... all of that shook me to the core. If you excuse me, I'll go watch something a little more family friendly. Jaws, perhaps.

Are you also terrified of the ocean? Feel free to tell us all about it in the comments below!

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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