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Imagine standing on the edge of a vast, deep blue expanse, with nothing but water stretching out as far as the eye can see. The unknown depths beneath your feet can stir up a mixture of awe and fear, known as thalassophobia. This feeling captures the essence of a subreddit of the same name that has attracted more than a million people fascinated by the mysteries of the deep.

If you have an intense fear of deep water, such as an ocean or a lake, you might want to skip this list, as we’ve delved into the Thalassophobia community to gather some of the most captivating and spine-chilling images. However, if you’re feeling like a mermaid today, continue scrolling to explore the eerie and beguiling world of the underwater realm. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments!

#3

Archaeological Dig Finds And Exposes Whole, 9000-Year-Old Town Swallowed By The Sea

Archaeological Dig Finds And Exposes Whole, 9000-Year-Old Town Swallowed By The Sea

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Take me to dinner first
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And by that they mean he has awakened the spirit of the vindictive witch that now wants to get revenge on those who trapped her at the bottom of the sea for 9000 years

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The ocean covers around 71% of the Earth's surface, making it the largest ecosystem on the planet. It holds 99% of all livable space in the world. Even though the ocean is incredibly important in maintaining the balance of our planet, we actually don't know much about its secrets. In fact, a large part of the ocean is still unexplored and unseen by us, making it a realm of mysterious and frightening wonders.

#4

"The Pit" - A Cenote In Tulum Mexico

"The Pit" - A Cenote In Tulum Mexico

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Norman Beattie
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I dove many cenotes in the Yucatan, awesome dives, salt water layered above fresh water and even though they said there will always be light, some were total darkness for short distances. That was 30 years ago I would imagine some regulating agency has corrected that since they are extremely popular now !

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#5

Even If It Isn’t Exactly Scary, Just Watching That Chain Sink Endlessly Is Unsettling

Even If It Isn’t Exactly Scary, Just Watching That Chain Sink Endlessly Is Unsettling

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#6

This Is The Swimming Hole From My Home Town In Texas. It's The Mouth Of An Underwater Cave System That Still Holds The Unrecovered Bodies Of Divers

This Is The Swimming Hole From My Home Town In Texas. It's The Mouth Of An Underwater Cave System That Still Holds The Unrecovered Bodies Of Divers

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To learn more about phobias and effective methods for overcoming them, we reached out to Christopher Paul Jones, Harley Streets’ leading phobia specialist, bestselling author, and speaker. Jones conquered his fear of public speaking, snakes, bugs, and flying, so he understands how scary it can be to take the first step towards change. Scroll down to read the exclusive interview!

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#7

The Fear Of The Unknown, How Real Is What You Imagine?

The Fear Of The Unknown, How Real Is What You Imagine?

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AJay
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like a whale shark! Very amazing animals. They've been known to reach more than 13 metres long and can weigh as much as 21,000 kg. Their mouths can be 5 feet wide, with three rows of about 300 tiny teeth. They only eat plankton and occasionally small fish, so they're not dangerous to humans. If you ever have the opportunity to swim with them in the wild I would definitely recommend it.

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#8

Rebreather Diving, Eastern Slovakia

Rebreather Diving, Eastern Slovakia

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StumblingThroughLife
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9 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nope. Enclosed spaces and submerged in water.... Two things that make me mentally knee-jerk.

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#9

Frightening Tsunami With A Wall Of Jet-Black Water Overwhelming The Seawall. Japan, March 2011

Frightening Tsunami With A Wall Of Jet-Black Water Overwhelming The Seawall. Japan, March 2011

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Phobias can significantly impact people’s daily lives. Whether it's a fear of heights, spiders, public speaking, or enclosed spaces, they can elicit strong emotional and physical responses. According to Christopher Paul Jones, a phobia is “an automated, overactive response where the brain instantly associates fight, flight or freeze to something that isn’t proportionally dangerous or is relatively benign. Examples of this could be seeing a spider, not being able to go outdoors or being unable to get into a lift because of the reactions these things induce.”

#12

There's Nowhere To Run From Whatever May Chase You From The Deep Deep Deeeeep... (Ocean's Shelter, Positano, Italy)

There's Nowhere To Run From Whatever May Chase You From The Deep Deep Deeeeep... (Ocean's Shelter, Positano, Italy)

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Francois
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ocean shelter with an infinity pool and billowing curtains. Well help I need shelter.

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Jones shared some common symptoms of phobias: 

  • Sweating
  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hot or cold flushes
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Feeling dizzy, faint or light-headed
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling like you are smothered or choking

“In terms of how phobias get created, they can be influenced by several factors, such as upbringing and lifestyle; however, the main one is conditioning, as shown in the study of Pavlov’s dog.

Pavlov demonstrated that dogs could be conditioned to respond to certain stimuli. In his experiment, he rang a bell and presented a dog with food. After a time, the dog began to anticipate food when it heard the bell and would start to salivate, regardless of whether the food was present. The dog’s response demonstrated the basic principle of classical conditioning. Unconditioned stimulus (ringing the bell) became conditioned stimulus, which led to a conditioned response: salivation. It is the same principle for humans.”

#14

Words Cannot Begin To Express How Terrifying The Thought Of An Abandoned Underwater Mine Is To Me

Words Cannot Begin To Express How Terrifying The Thought Of An Abandoned Underwater Mine Is To Me

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Lady Perkele
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In the Norwegian navy we clear them on our first year of training, so many around the fjords generosity of the Nzs

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#15

A Ladder In A Flooded Quarry

A Ladder In A Flooded Quarry

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EmBree
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Judging from the games I have played there is great treasure to be found at the bottom, so hold your breath kids we are going in!

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“Seeking professional help when dealing with phobias is really important,” Jones shared. Coping with intense fears on our own can be challenging, and having the support of a trained professional makes a significant difference in the journey towards overcoming them. “While some things fade over time, like a fear of the dark going away as you get older, most will not, so telling yourself to suck it up or just power through isn’t usually enough,” the therapist added.

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“Many traditional therapies, such as counseling, can often be ineffectual as it involves rationalizing your fear. Generally, tools that tap into the subconscious and change the conditioned response are preferable. I personally recommend an integrated approach using various tools, as everyone is different, and this is what I do in my practice.”

#16

Double The Thalassophobia In Lake Leitisvatn In Faroe Islands

Double The Thalassophobia In Lake Leitisvatn In Faroe Islands

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Pyla
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Faroe Islands just slaughtered several hundred pilot whales. Screw them.

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#17

75 Foot Waves Shaking The Earth As They Roll In. Yet People Surf Them

75 Foot Waves Shaking The Earth As They Roll In. Yet People Surf Them

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Mycroft1967
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

According to Guiness the largest wave ever surfed was at Nazare, Portugal by Sebastian Steudtner (GER). 86 feet (26.21 meters)

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#18

“Relaxing” Get Away I Don’t Think So

“Relaxing” Get Away I Don’t Think So

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If you’re someone who’s trying to overcome your phobias, Jones has some useful tips for you. First of all, it is important to figure out what you are really afraid of. “A lot of the time, people think they are afraid of one thing when in reality, it’s actually something else.”

“Getting clear on what has to happen for you to have a phobic response and spotting differences is a great exercise to facilitate this. For example, if you are afraid of lifts, ask yourself, ‘Would a glass one be better or worse?’ If a glass one is better, it’s likely you are claustrophobic, and if it’s worse, you potentially have a fear of heights. It’s the same with flying. If you think flying is more dangerous than driving, what is the difference in your mind between the two? It’s about finding that contrast and going from there.”

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Once you have done this step described above, you could then use a “reconditioning technique” to replace the negative trigger with a positive one. According to Jones, one technique that can be very effective is anchoring.

Here are the steps that you can follow:

  • Decide how you want to feel – happy, confident, calm, etc.
  • Remember a time when you felt this way.
  • Choose an anchor you can do easily, like squeezing your fist. 
  • Visualize the memory and relive it in as much detail as you can, and as the confident feeling grows, squeeze your fist, releasing it when the feeling starts to subside.
  • Test the anchor by squeezing your fist to see if you can naturally access the positive feeling.

“If it doesn’t work the first time, repeat the steps above, as it may take a few tries to reach the desired positive state. When it is strong enough, it will override the negative feeling and take it out.”

#19

A Submerged Elephant Statue. Dahab, Egypt

A Submerged Elephant Statue. Dahab, Egypt

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#21

So Vast The Turbines Are Partway Below The Horizon

So Vast The Turbines Are Partway Below The Horizon

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Phobias, those gripping fears that send shivers down our spines, have been subject to a variety of misconceptions and myths. The biggest misconception, according to Jones, is that phobias are a sign of weakness or a lack of intellect, and people will use any ‘reason or excuse’ to try to make sense of how they feel. “Another common myth is that facing your fear head-on (exposure therapy) is the way to solve it, and most of the time, this fails, as it is not about understanding, determination, or strength of will."

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#23

This Is What The Inside Of A Water Tower Looks Like

This Is What The Inside Of A Water Tower Looks Like

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#24

Anchoring An Ice Screw Under The Ice

Anchoring An Ice Screw Under The Ice

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When something happened in the past that scared you, similar situations can bring back that fear even if they don't seem as scary. The level of fear you experience may not match the current situation because these memories are stored based on how old you were when they happened. So, sometimes you might feel more scared than you need to be because of how your brain remembers those past events.

“An example would be a 2-year-old getting lost in a shopping mall. While it may seem insignificant to an adult, ten minutes is a long time for a very young child as they haven’t been alive that long, so while an adult may dismiss this because it doesn’t seem significant enough, it’s not always the case. With that said, it could, of course, be a major childhood trauma that induces a negative response,” Jones added.

It is important to note that what you are phobic of may not always be the trigger. “If you have a fear of skydiving, for example, it may not be jumping out of a plane that you are scared of; it could be that you fear being out of control, as once you’ve jumped, there’s no going back.”

#25

Sunken Ship Hanging Over 6000' Chasm

Sunken Ship Hanging Over 6000' Chasm

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#26

A House Surrounded By Water

A House Surrounded By Water

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#27

Surfers Over Swirling Silt And Inky Depths. Morro Bay, Ca (USA)

Surfers Over Swirling Silt And Inky Depths. Morro Bay, Ca (USA)

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According to Jones, trying to untangle phobias logically doesn’t get you very far because “they are neither proportional nor rational but based on emotion. The key is to try and ‘talk’ to that part of your mind that doesn’t work on logic. This essentially means tapping into the unconscious or subconscious mind, or whatever you choose to call it, as this is where emotions are stored.”

To learn more about Christopher Paul Jones and his work, we recommend checking out his website, as well as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

#28

An Underwater Observation Tower Rusting Away (Nassau, Bahamas)

An Underwater Observation Tower Rusting Away (Nassau, Bahamas)

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#30

Some Horror Material

Some Horror Material

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Note: this post originally had 48 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.