Ocean Ramsey doesn’t ride on top of great white sharks for fun or frivolous show. She does it to dispel their image of cruel killing machines, to call attention to the fact that sharks are seriously endangered. Which really sucks, because they’re crucial for the sustainability of the oceans and, therefore, our own species.
Like with wolves and other large predators, our image of sharks is deformed by irrational fear and hate. The fear is rooted on rumor—scattered news that get amplified and deformed as they are retold again and again. These obscure stories make us anthropomorphize these animals. We give them human qualities and emotions—like cruelty and anger—giving them motive and turning them into thinking monsters akin to psychopaths. And once they are like us, we can hate them.