Sharks are vicious predators that live in deep parts of seas and oceans. They are well-known for their blood thirsty need to feed of flesh of other sea creatures, or even people. Sharks usually stay away from shallow waters, but it is not excluded that a shark can come closer to the ground.
In popular culture, people are afraid of sharks and they are mostly represented as monsters in popular movies and TV-shows. Another interesting fact is that a lot of people actually has phobia from the water, because of sharks.
They imagine sharks swimming around and this prevents them from getting into the ocean or into the sea.
Also, many people dream about sharks regularly and wonder, what could be the secret meaning of a shark in a dream. Many cultures around the world, especially ones that live close to the ocean, feared and respected sharks for centuries.
If you are one of those people, who are interested in getting to know this magnificent creature a little bit better, then keep on reading.
Shark traits and characteristics
Cruelty – Sharks are well-known as vicious animals that don’t let their prey escape that easily. They will go after a smaller prey anytime or even attack a bigger enemy, if they are in the need for flesh and blood. People rarely survive shark attacks, exactly because once they catch their prey, they simply won’t let go until it is theirs completely.
Speed – Even though sharks live under the surface, they are considered to be extremely fast in water. They can swim great lengths without getting exhausted and sprint to capture their prey. This is their survival mechanism that they need to have in order to feed themselves and their young.
Scary appearance – Huge jaws and teeth as sharp as knives, give us chills just by looking at a picture of a shark. They use these massive jaws to hang on to their prey and prevent it from moving anywhere. Sharks can rip off a human leg in just one strong grip, which makes them scary predators.
Strength – Just like any other predator, shark is very strong, especially in comparison to humans. Like I mentioned earlier, they can rip off a human body part in just few tugs and basically enable us to survive.
Now that we have covered this “fun” part of the article, we will move on to the more interesting and symbolic meaning of a shark. Many cultures and nations around the world, used what they saw in nature and implemented it into their symbolism. This is why knowing several characteristics of an animal can be helpful when analyzing the secret symbolism behind it.
Shark as a totem
Being protected by this animal as a totem is a great advantage in life. If you are born under this totem or if shark is your spirit animal, then you are most probably a very sharp person. You are someone who is highly intelligent and knows what he wants in life, and how to achieve it.
You are probably an innovator or a person who is well-educated about every subject and knows how to use this knowledge to your advantage. People born under this totem don’t have to be scientists or college professors, they can be people from the street who know how to get by in life and get the most of it.
People born under this totem are also sleek. There is something sleek and elegant about this person, that almost resembles the way a shark moves through water. You are adaptable to any situation and nothing can shake you up or make you uncomfortable.
Authority is another important trait of a person born with a shark totem. This is a person who knows how to achieve the goals he has set up. You won’t see this person hesitating to make a move and you won’t definitely be able to stop him or her from getting what they want.
This kind of trait is going to get you places in life, that others can only dream about if you only use it in the right way. Negative side of this trait can be using this authority for something bad or malicious, that doesn’t serve a purpose to anyone. This will only cause people to stay away from you and avoid you, and that is not a good way to move on up in life.
People born under the shark totem are also intimidating. Somehow their presence is always noticeable, and you will definitely become aware when this person enters the room. The way they handle themselves and carry themselves leaves other people mesmerized by their appearance.
There is something mysterious and secretive about these people too. Even though they can be real crowd-pleaser, their real thoughts and opinions stay well hidden from others.
Their brave actions and proactive behavior will definitely lead them in life, and if you are a person born under this totem then you probably already see yourself in this description. Overall, these courageous but also potentially dangerous people, will leave a mark on your life in a good or in a bad way.
Shark as a symbol in a dream
Dreams about sharks can have different meanings. Sometimes they will bring you good luck but other times, they will be a warning that something bad is about to happen.
If you had a dream about a shark close to you, then this dream represents someone who is trying to manipulate with you.
If the shark in your dream was chasing after you, then this dream is a representation of troubles and problems you are about to face, in your life, that are going to shake up everything you created so far. This dream can be related to your career or personal life.
If you saw a dead shark in your dream, then this dream is a representation of peace and good luck that is coming back to your life. Things are going to come into place, after a long period of struggles and problems, and you will be extremely happy about it.
If shark in your dream was swimming in clear water, then this represents that you are unaware of things around you. Someone might be plotting to destroy your career or your personal life, while you think of this person as your friend.
If the shark in your dream was attacking you, then you should pay more attention to the certain problem in your life that is now been present for a long time.
Shark as a symbol in different cultures
Shark symbols have been present for centuries in many different cultures and nations. People who lived near the ocean, were the ones who suffered from shark attacks and had to fear from these monsters from the deep oceans.
Native Americans lived mostly in forests and rarely came close to the beaches, but there are some myths regarding sharks in their culture as well. They believed that seeing a shark on the beach or near the beach in water, meant that rain is about to fall or a storm might appear. On the northern side of America, Native Americans often used a small shark, which is known as dog fish, as a symbol on totem poles. This only shows that, even though sharks weren’t a big part of their culture, they still respected it and feared from it.
In Celtic culture, sharks reminded people of the sacred sickle that Druids carried. This is why sharks were a symbol of a good harvest and fruitful period, and also a representation of a surviving ability.
In Japan, a storm god was named after a shark and this god was a representation of fierceness and strength. Also, in China, symbol of this god was painted on airplanes to protect the passengers from a disaster and to ensure them a safe flight.
Other countries, like Australia, that are surrounded by oceans, respect sharks as their protectors and they also admire this magnificent animal. Shark hunters in Australia, used to capture them only when sharks were ready to be caught and they believed they knew when it is the right moment.
In Polynesia, sharks are considered to be sacred animals. They were a symbol of protection from the enemies and many people in Polynesia have a shark tattoo on their body, to protect them.
In Hawaii sharks are also considered to be highly important. They also have tattoos of dots on their ankles that are supposed to keep sharks away when they are fishing for food. One of many myths in Hawaii tells a story about a woman who was swimming in the ocean, and a shark started to chase her. But, when the shark saw dots tattooed on her ankles, she decided to let the woman go freely.
This is a good representation of how people who lived next to the ocean for centuries, developed both respect and fear when it comes to their greatest natural enemies.
In popular culture, sharks are presented as vicious and cruel. Probably the most memorable association to sharks is the movie “Jaws”. When this movie was released, it got the fear of sharks even deeper into the human bones and made us fear this animal even more.
Now that we have learned more about sharks and the secret symbolism behind them, it is safe to say that they are just as magnificent and powerful as they are dangerous. Probably none of us is willing to be close to a shark somewhere in the ocean, but when we listen to all of the symbolism and strength that lies in its core, we can’t help ourselves and we have to admire this amazing creature.