Thalassophobia is defined as an intense and persistent fear of the sea or of sea travel. It is a clinical phobia that is generally classified under specific phobias; the fear of a single specific panic trigger. Many people will claim to be afraid of water, but that is not the same thing.
We all have the instinct for survival and so we fear anything that might put us at risk. Dangerous waters have the ability to drown us, especially if there are waves. If you can’t swim this also makes it doubly troublesome for you. But both of those things can logically be explained. If you can’t swim then it follows that you will be afraid of swimming.
Conversely, if you can swim and you are in dangerous, risky waters, then it’s also logical that you will be afraid. People who experience Thalassophobia, however, are afraid of deep water whether or not there is a risk involved. To test whether you have this particular brand of phobia, here are several images. If you are triggered by them, you may have this phobia.
1. Are you afraid of deep waters and that your legs can’t find solid ground beneath them? Are you terrified of the thought that there is nothing you can cling onto once you get in the water?
2. Do you find yourself worried or anxious about what might be lurking in the depths? You can’t see what’s happening far beneath and the thought frightens you.
3. All of these living things in the ocean have the chance of coming near you or maybe even worse. Does the thought of unknown sea creatures seem menacing to you?
4. You are aware that there are massive and deadly creatures below the surface of the water. What’s even worse is that it’s possible to be unaware of them and not have any idea that there is something lurking beneath you.
5. What about those haunted abandoned shipwrecks that were lost at sea and have been left in its depths. Are you afraid of what may still lay within them?
6. Do you ever wonder about what’s under you that you can’t see when you’re swimming? It doesn’t matter whether you are in a lake or ocean, but when something touches you, does your spine tingle?
7. Are you afraid of all those nasty and freakish creatures that make your skin crawl and that you didn’t even know existed in the nethermost region of the sea?
8. Whether you are swimming or you are on a boat of some sort, do you ever feel anxious about being too far away from the mainland?
9. Have you ever felt the dread in knowing that the ocean is so powerful that you can lose whatever control you have at any moment and without any warning? You have absolutely no authority over it.
10. Do you panic over the enormous size of the ocean, even if you are not in it? Does the idea of it being so big and vast freak you out?
11. If all of these things are true and you feel visceral panic at the idea that they all might happen to you, then we have some unfortunate news for you: you probably have Thalassophobia.
12. This is an all-consuming and consistent fear of large bodies of water and all of the strange and mysterious beings and things that may be creeping around within their depths.
13. It’s possible that you didn’t know that you possessed this fear so we are here to explain it to you in the most lucid way possible. Why don’t you dive in with us and see for yourself? We’ll try not to overwhelm you…
14. Do these images make you feel very uncomfortable or give you goosebumps? Do you feel like if you look at them long enough you may have a panic attack? Do they make you feel like you are not in control?
15. If you are afraid of what you might step on, and seriously consider whether you are a strong enough swimmer to navigate any water, and feel panicked before even stepping in…
10. …And if you had a specially difficult time getting through this post without going into a full-fledged panic attack (even though you are unlikely to be inside any body of water right now), then we regret to inform you that you have Thalassophobia.