Thursday, October 28, 2010

freak week part IV

You knew it was coming, people. Scary animals. Really big rabid dogs with slobbery mouths racing at you full-speed (thanks, Stephen King). Great White Sharks with those cold eyes sliding through the ocean, honed in on you like a short-range missile (thanks, Steven Spielberg). Giant Squids with so many grasping tentacles, pulling you to your death. Snakes--long, venemous, coiling snakes. Spiders, the furry kind as big as your fist. Gorillas, intelligent and deadly, their arms full of force. Speeding cheetahs with giant claws and strong jaws. Crocodiles, 20 feet of reptilian sneakiness snapping at your toes from below, ready to swallow you in a single gulp. Grizzly Bears. Scorpions. (Thanks, Nature Channel.)

But mostly sharks. They're silent. They can attack you from almost any angle. You can't reason with them. You can't out-swim them. I'm a rational person, I fully realize that I'm unlikely to run into a shark. But I'm still terrified by the possibility every time I go to the ocean. Fortunately, I don't find myself in the ocean that often, so the prospects of facing my greatest animal fear in the wild are very slim.


The best way to overcome a fear is through knowledge, and Mr. B is obsessed with sharks. Together we've read dozens of books about sharks. I know which species are threatened, endangered, rare and live far below in the ocean depths. I know which sharks live in freshwater (bull) and don't have teeth (whale) and why their skin can harm you (denticles). I also know their teeth are really sharp and they can swim fast. Those shark week marathons on TV give me thrills and chills. Sharks horrify and amaze me at the same time.

Lemurs? Notsomuch. They're mostly cute. Nonthreatenting. And endangered. Did you know that there are fifty different kinds of lemurs, ten types are critically endangered, seven are endangered, and nineteen are considered vulnerable? You can learn more about lemurs if you pick up Rena Jones' book Lemur Troops and Critter Groups--or if you win it here. (I know, my segues are getting worse and worse.) And Rena has written in her blog about grizzly bears, she lives in Montana right in bear country. Talk about scary! Thankfully I don't live in bear country, either. (And I'm pretty sure bears leave a bigger mess than whatever had dinner in our back yard the other night.)

For October's FABULOUS I'm giving away a copy of Lemur Troops and Critter Groups, a charming children's book about animals! (Not scary animals, fun animals.) How can you win? Every comment in the comment box through Saturday is an entry to win. I'll pick a lucky winner on Sunday.


Spill it, reader. What animal freaks you out the most?

16 comments:

  1. Snakes. My Chinese astrology sign might be the serpent, I do not like snakes. I don't like the way they move, the fact that some of them are venemous, and most of all the fact that some can strangle you to death. Brrr, they give me shivers.

    I don't like cockroaches either, by the way. Not a big bug person in general.

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  2. i mean, it's not an animal...but spiders. why are they made, again? ha.

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  3. That group on the cover is cute, but not quite as cute as your troop---T, B, and G.

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  4. " Sharks horrify and amaze me at the same time." Exactly. Shark Week is my Scary Movie Marathon. :)

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  5. uhmmm...let's see...any animal large enough and hungry enough not to care about me. Like a big ol' grizzly bear, or a whale...even a shark, I suppose, is pretty big, eh? I love cats, you know, and I used to like believing that if I came upon a Big Cat in the wild...a cougar or mountain loin or whatnot - I could do the "cat whisperer" thing and just go my separate way. Then I had occasion to meet and feed a live, grown tiger, on my lap. (under supervision! *ha)

    Yeah. In its wild natural habitat? The cat would definitely win, no matter what. If he was hungry, or just feeling sporty, my @ss would be catfood.

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  6. I agree sharks are the scariest things because of their stealth. Jaws scared the bejeebers out of me and I refused to watch the sequels. I just don't watch any scary movie that involves bug, animals, rodents, reptiles, or fish that feast on humans. Scary, scary, scary!!!

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  7. I'd say snakes and cockroaches, simply because I might run across them on any given day, whereas I doubt very much that I'll run into a shark or bear.

    That said, I was terrified walking through the Redwood State Park in California last year. No one was around but my husband and I, and the signs all warned of bears. Thankfully, I wasn't mauled or eaten. :)

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  8. Rats--see my Willard movie comment from yesterday.

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  9. as you know....SNAKES. No legs, man, NO LEGS. creepy. I'm still creeped out by the pumpkin patch because of the Snake Sighting. Thanks Alot, Mr. D.

    Gah, Snakes. I"m just creeped out thinking about them. NO LEGS.

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  10. We go to New Smyrna Beach, which is the shark attack capital of the world, according to databases that keep track of that stuff.

    And yes, I have been in the water there!

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  11. Snakes.....Not even at the zoo behind glass. NEVER!

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  12. SHARKS!!!!! I am completely terrified by sharks. I went snorkling with my hubby on our honeymoon and was following the tour guide. When I finally looked up I could barely see our boat it was so far away. I freaked! I begged the guide to take us back but he didn't understand English (or my broken Spanish) very well. I spazzed out and hightailed it back to the boat (doing my best swimmer's form from swim team) by myself with my hubby trying to follow after me through the reef jutting out this way and that. The whole time all I could think of was that sharks can smell fear and now I'm all by myself. It was a NIGHTMARE. NEVER AGAIN.

    Whew!

    I am completely irrational though. I freak out thinking about sharks when I am in a swimming pool at the YMCA or at the lake too. ???
    I have issues. ;)

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  13. I read 'Jaws' when I was ten or eleven, and could not even sit on the toilet afterwards. For weeks. I could not swim in a pool, or have a bath. Seriously! But then I came face to face with sharks AND barracudas when snorkelling, and realised that sharks are dumb. Barracudas, now THEY are scary! They have a whole lot of teeth.

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  14. Frogs freak me out. I don't like the way they move. You never know which direction they're going to leap next.

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  15. Pet Semetary made me swear off Stephen King when I was 19-when Gage is running towards the road...swore off scary books with kids. Then Dean Koontz-
    Icebound (contributed to my fear of closed spaces) and back-to-back readings of Intensity and Watchers...Chyna's experience with the diabolical serial killer makes me certain I would rather face a shark.

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Spill it, reader.