Jaws or Abyss?
Jaws or Abyss?

Jaws or Abyss?

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

When I talk to non-divers about diving, two questions, always the same ones, arise. Girls: "Aren't you afraid of sharks? » Boys: "Are you going deep? » Syndrome Sea teeth in these ladies, fantasy Abyss in the gentlemen's room!

Two movies, two fantasies, two fears of the unknown?

I am not a psychiatrist But I have my sexist theory with two bullets, on the perception of diving by men and women.

Disclaimer : Careful, eh! Nothing serious in all this, all the following is to be taken with irony and to the nth degree !!! 😉

Teeth of the sea and Abyss. Two films, two fantasies, two fears of the unknown?
Jaws and Abyss. Two films, two fantasies, two fears of the unknown?

So the girls always ask me: "Aren't you afraid of sharks? » On the feminine side, it seems that it is the fear of the big beast with teeth that dominates. Underwater variant of the fear of the big bad wolf?

Boys, on the other hand, always ask me: "Are you going deep? » On the male side, it looks more like performance anxiety. Variant of the farthest peeing contest?


In short, scuba diving inspires fears and fantasies, which are well symbolized by these two films: The Teeth of the Sea (Jaws) from Steven Spielberg for fear of sharks and Abyss from James Cameron for the intoxication of the depths.

Dedramatize and demythify ...

Many people do not know that clownfish attacks (without consequence) and triggerfish (sometimes painful) are more frequent than those sharks. And that we do not even need to feel the intoxication of the depths to cross harmless gray sharks, white tip or black tip, Whale sharks, Wobbegongs or zebra sharks ...

→ See all my articles with sharks in (with or without teeth)

White tip sharks in Sipadan.
White-tip sharks in Sipadan (Borneo, Malaysia).
A zebra shark and his faithful remora, awakened by the light of the flash. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.
A zebra shark and his faithful remora, awakened by the light of the flash. (Koh Phi Phi, Thailand)
Reef shark and jacks. (Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia, July 2013)
Reef shark and jacks. (Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia, July 2013)
Long-legged shark, Red Sea, Egypt, October 2016.
Long-legged shark. (Red Sea, Egypt, October 2016)
Enoooorme !!! (Balicasag, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines, May 2018)
Enoooormous, the whale shark!!! (Balicasag, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines, May 2018)

Well, these questions, from non-divers, I can still understand ... They do not know the underwater world.

But where it becomes comical, it is that these differences between male and female reactions are also observed among the divers and divers aboard on the same boat ...

Would they have looked too much The big Blue ?

Some gentlemen, when they come back on board, after a dive, absolutely need to know how deep the others have come down. Ordis dive on the wrist, they go there their virile comparisons, measuring the meters as they had to measure the centimeters in the playground.

Ri-di-cu them! 😆

Some have watched too much The big Blue Luc Besson, too, no doubt ...

The little game of comparisons becomes very funny, when we move on to the "contest" of those who consume the least amount of air. Here, girls are often the big winners!

We can not do anything about it, it's like that, a question of size, of morphology. Women are generally more air-efficient than men. Real champions. Everyone leaves with about 200 bars in their bottle.

But when the gentleman comes back with 50 bars or less, the lady often still has 80 or even 100 bars in stock! 👌

End of dive. Koh Lanta, Thailand.

The macho does not stay long under water

So, I laugh in advance when I see landed some couples on a boat ... Of those who do not have much experience in diving, with a guy who plays macho and know-it in front of his girlfriend and the rest of the team.


She will listen attentively to the briefing and follow the advice of the guide. Dare to ask questions and take care not to touch anything under water (and then she saw JawsWell, she knows that the beasts that populate the seabed are full of teeth and sharp pointy things).

In general, she will have a long, pleasant dive. She will see lots of cool stuff, because she will always keep an eye on the guide who is there to show it to her (as long as the guide does her job well, but that's another debate). She will go back enchanted. With a little luck, she will even have seen a shark. And will not be afraid of it anymore.


Shark and divers in Sipadan. (Borneo, Malaysia, July 2013)
Shark and divers in Sipadan. (Borneo, Malaysia, July 2013)

His companion, however, often needs no one's advice. At most, he will deign to ask questions about depth. Explaining that he can go well beyond the 25 or 30 metres maximum announced at the briefing. That's how it is: some males don't see the point of doing so-called "recreational" or "leisure" diving, without decompression. And they find it even harder to understand that in certain exotic places, where the water is warm and full of fish, you don't always have rescue services or a decompression chamber nearby...

As a result, this kind of guy will empty his air bottle at full speed, wanting to go too low, too high. You can spot him quickly, underwater: he's the one waving his arms and legs like a madman, shaking the bottom, scaring away the fish...

In addition, it is also the kind to get upset if he has to go back on the boat before the others, with one of the guides, simply because he has sucked all his air.

Are you going deep? Aren't you afraid of sharks?

Yes, all this is very caricatural, I agree ... But as are certain behaviors (whether diving, driving, or in everyday life).

Luckily, I also met lots of couples who were diving in good spirits, forming admirable underwater pairs!

Diving in Alor. (Indonesia, July 2012)
Diving in Alor. (Indonesia, July 2012)

Still. Every time I start a conversation about my dives with someone who knows nothing about diving, I know in advance the question that will be asked, depending on whether the person I'm talking to is a man or a woman: "And you go deep? » or else: "Aren't you afraid of sharks? »

In short, impossible to escape the clichés that haunt the feminine and masculine imaginary when it comes to diving. It is Jaws or Abyss !

???? ????

  Between Two Journeys

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  1. Ha thin, I know a lot of guys who refer to the teeth of the sea .... it's normal, doctor?
    That said, this film has traumatized a generation that is now afraid to put the regulator in the mouth (the best way to no longer be afraid is to put it at least once in the mouth to see what really happen under water!) Spielberg should apologize publicly for making this movie!

  2. @ Ceucidit:
    Heureusement non! (Voir le commentaire de Marie-Net qui suit le tien…) Ça serait d’un triste, d’ailleurs, si tous les mecs avec forcément tous les mêmes réactions. 😉
    My theory is really two bullets, totally caricatured, inspired by a sample certainly not representative. The last male specimen with whom I had this kind of discussion warned me, "I am representative of what? (I quote it)
    Perhaps a woman's fantasy, basically, to want to believe that men can not be unpredictable ...

    @ Marie-Net:
    Yes, Jaws remains THE reference film, men and women alike. In fact, it is I who establishes arbitrarily and in all bad faith this cinematographic cleavage, compared to the two types of answers that I have often heard (depth / danger of the fauna) ... (But if a shrink goes through this, I am taking a substantiated opinion.)
    To fix the trauma, Spielberg should do better: a new movie about sharks. But who would take the opposite of the first, by staging the real killer of the seas, the real monster, the human being. (Still, I love this movie!)

  3. Mr. Speciman,

    I am delighted to see that you came to see for yourself the real or supposed excess of the ticket, after our conversation around a recyclable cup ...

    So, reassured?

  4. Dans le sens courant, le fantasme est une fixation mentale ou une croyance irraisonnée pouvant, dans certains cas, conduire à des billets excessifs 😉

  5. Un peu caricatural, mais… si vrai 😡

    Nb : Au passage bravo pour la photo de requin zèbre (léopard) avec la raie-mora prise à Koh Lanta. Moi je n’ai jamais réussi à en faire de bonnes pas à cause de la bête bien placide, mais de l’eau à chaque fois bien chargée 🙁

  6. 😀

    Otherwise, for zebra sharks (leopards), we can see quite easily, around Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. Since they are generally quite quiet on the bottom, they are easy to approach and photograph. But indeed, the problem is that the water is often quite heavy.

    That day, it was going, which allowed me to make a pretty good series of photos. I also have a video, where we see several zebra sharks swimming, carried out during another exploit. But alas, visi rotten way "fog" that makes things a little ghostly on my small sequence. I'll have to put it online someday ...

  7. But no, you're not a "specimen", you're a representative of half of humanity !!!!!

    Well, come on, I have to go back in the icy rain of real life to make pictures for the newspaper. There are times when I would prefer to be "no-life", I swear ...

  8. Je n’étais pas particulièrement inquiet, même si le fait d’être ramené au rang de « specimen » peut laisser songeur… 😥

    Mais cette caricature en vaut bien une autre, celle de la « No life way of life » par exemple… 😉

  9. Très marrant ce billet ! 😀
    I do not know much about diving (only a long baptism near the island of Groix) but I come back to your site for 2/3 weeks because it is really well done ... hat!
    The interface and technique are both pro and harmonious. Your pen is simple, clear and full of life. And, finally, the bottom of your tickets is very rewarding.
    J’arrête là (pour que tes chevilles restent de taille humaine 😛 ) mais je souhaite vraiment te remonter mes compliments !
    Good continuation !

  10. Thank you IndexOne !!!
    Mission accomplished: my ankles exploded !!!

    I'm kidding, but what you're saying here touches me sincerely.

    On the web, I attach great importance to ergonomics, the "intuitive" side of navigation. Nothing exasperates me more than losing myself on a website or blog.

    So I spent a lot of time refining mine to the best, so that it is pleasant to go. If in addition you find the bottom interesting ... I am filled! Very sincerely, thank you very much for this feedback. I will try to continue in this direction.


  11. Excellent. I just spent 5 minutes a smile on the lips. You are very close to the truth. For my part, I belong to the scrap yard in green water. It is true that we are often looking for the deep and inaccessible wreck story to be able to bring it back in front of friends! 8)
    Ceci dit, j’aime aussi les petites bestioles peu profondes et j’essaie d’initier mes potos ferrailleurs tatoués à ces découvertes. Si tu vas te promener sur mes pages tu remarqueras que je notes les profondeurs… toutes les profondeurs même les 15m 😉

    This page illustrates, I think, rather well my intention:


    Good future dives to you.