Realising that, at 23, there are things that scare me.
I’m not really a spring chicken anymore. Spring-chicken age is more around 17, I think. Regardless, I’m at an age where I’m starting to notice that, yeah, I’m actually an adult, and yeah, those are quite possibly are wrinkles on your forehead, chickadee. Oh well, I was most likely going to end up a spinster anyway.
In my long 23 years, I’ve always been unable to answer the question that comes up at least once in one’s life, “What are you afraid of?” or “What scares you?”. These questions, while somewhat redundant, and trivial, actually are like the “big” questions in life (“Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life?” yeah - like existence implies meaning.) Being asked what truly frightens you (the most) is a personal question. It’s deep. If you give the answer to the wrong person you, my friend, could be in a lot of trouble!
Common answers to this include things like spiders, or snakes, or being burned alive, none of which I could have ever said scare me (although, I’ll admit being burned alive would be uncomfortable up until the point I asphyxiated). Spiders - ugly, hairy, too quick for their own good, but the problem of these unwanted visitors is easily fixed with some Raid or a good solid Dr Martin.
Snakes? I’ve always been under the impression that they’re busy minding their own business. I’m much bigger than a snake and we both know that. I’m not after its mice or whatever they eat, and we both know that. I know that if I were to come across one in my shoebox of an apartment, which might be a possibility - there was an incident with a sassy ring-tailed possum that refused to let me open our recycling bin which it had claimed as its fortress of solitude - I would say hello, leave it be and call the proper authorities. There’s snake police, right?
Heights? No. I went to the tallest building in Tokyo and was, to be honest, a little disappointed. The dark? No (however, my greyhound does not agree with me on this). Sharks? Hey. They have to eat. If someone gets eaten, they probably shouldn’t have been in the water, effectively the shark’s ‘hood. Dying? Well, we all have to go at some point, and while I would prefer not to kick the bucket right now, I’m certainly not afraid of it. Nothing worse could ever happen after you die - you’re dead, yeah?
No, I didn’t think I was afraid of anything. Not because I’m an amazingly brave soul, but because I hadn’t found anything that really scared me.
I’ve been watching a lot of David Attenborough lately, because frankly, I think he’s a bit of a sexy beast and wish he could narrate my life. This evening, I just watched “Planet Earth - Ocean Deep”, and it’s all about exploring the deepest parts of the ocean, not just where you paddle around at the beach. We’re talking depths of 2-3km under the surface, where there is no possibility of penetrating light. And it occurred to me:
I don’t know if there’s a guy inside that submarine-type-capsule thing, but if there is, I would really, really fucking hate his job!
Then I paused the episode and pondered. Why? What’s so bad about it? It’s only a couple of thousand metres bel-
OH MY GOD, THAT WOULD BE TERRIFYING, WITH ALL THAT DARKNESS AND THE PRESSURE BEING 300 TIMES ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE AND THAT FACT THAT IT’S -40 DEGREES, AND I COULDN’T SWIM UP TO THE SURFACE IF ALL MY SHIT BROKE DOWN BECAUSE, LET’S FACE IT I CAN’T SWIM 1KM ON TOP OF THE WATER, LET ALONE 4KM, UPWARDS, BEFORE I SUFFOCATE WITH ALL THE TRANSPARENT JELLYFISH AND ELECTRIC-GOO-SNAKES AND SHIT WATCHING ME BEFORE THEY INEVITABLY SLURP MY PUTRID SELF UP AFTER I’VE DECOMPOSED ON THE OCEAN FLOOR!!!!!!
It dawned on me - I am afraid of the Mariana Trench. More so, being down there for whatever ri-donk-ulous reason.
Mariana Trench - deepest part of the ocean anywhere in the world. The deepest place on Earth. That’s what I’m afraid of. I can now call myself a normal person.
I don’t think anybody of water should be 5km deep. Furthermore, I don’t think it would be viable, let alone, necessary for things to exist at those depths, because there isn’t any light. At all. It’s like space, but filled with sea water. But no, there is a myriad of deep sea residents in places like that.
Like this guy. No, that’s not a Pokemon, it’s an octopus. It is an octopus so warped by the pressure at those depths, that it looks like a baked potato with a tongue. (I think that’s a gill). It doesn’t even really swim, it just sort of floats to save energy - for all its life. His life consists of bobbing around until he bumps into something edible, missing every episode of American Idol ever.
And that’s going to be a long wait for food. “Ocean Snow” is detritus that floats down from the shallower water, and this descent takes months.
These nasty things are giant spider crabs. And they are giant. Their leg span is around 1.5 metres. I don’t like this. I want them all to be dead. It’s like “Alien” but real. And crustacean-y. And in the Mariana Trench.
These are only a few of the absolutely unbelievably ridiculous things that somehow manage to survive kilometres below the surface without any sunlight. A lot of things down there have evolved to not posses eyes simply because they would be useless. They’ve adapted to the immense pressure bearing down on their bodies and skeletons (if they have one at all), and, like the Blob Fish, would expand all over the place and ooze out of shape if brought to atmospheric pressure.
I don’t want to be down there. I don’t want to be around those things. I don’t want to know what these things look like. These things are so horrible because we’re NOT meant to see them or know about them. That’s why they live there. We should have left well enough alone! We’re not supposed to go exploring down there. It’s why we can’t hold our breath for 3 days. Send those goo-fish-jelly-crabs back to Hell, I say!