Reaction to outside stimuli causes one to fight, freeze,
or flee. If you were confronted by an armed robber with a pistol, your reaction
would be to choose fight, flight, or freeze.You might lunge at the robber
in the attempt to get their weapon (fight). You might run out a nearby open
door and than down the hallway hoping to avoid getting shot as the escape
is made (flight). You might just stand there with your arms in the air hoping
no further action will be taken (freeze).
With most land animals we come to expect they will freeze
or flee upon the approach of a human. They are defensive. Do you know what
it would be like if white-tailed deer, commonly found in the northeast part
of the United States, commonly went into a fight mode when approached by
a human being. We expect deer to run from us and then possibly stop after
going a short distance. This flight and freeze is expected and allows one
to walk calmly through the woods. We expect animals to be defensive. And,
on the rare occasion when they do become offensive (fight) it is because
of unusual circumstances such as being cornered, defending their young, etc.
Underwater it is the same. Most marine life generally
do not attack. For the most part they are defensive and will either stay
in place or flee when approached. But, they are defensive. So, if a Moray
Eel sees your hand entering his rock den a wound might be inflicted. If you
load the water with blood from spearfishing, the appetite of predators might
be wetted promoting a food-seeking attack. If you go to the surface and make
splashing noises with your fins, simulating a wounded fish, you might be
inviting a fight mode. If you wear jewelry underwater that resembles a fishing
lure you may end up as a human fishing pole. If you start dropping chunks
of coral on sharks below you may get more than you bargained for.
Now it is not implied that all attacks of life on man
are the result of man's aggressive behavior. Some of them are the result
of the species being hungry or defending their young from what was perceived
to be aggressive behavior. A diver gathering balls and then being eaten by
an alligator in a Florida golf course pond may have nothing to do with aggression
by the diver to the gator.
In all the dives this author has made in the Caribbean
and Florida, and all the sharks, barracuda, and other wild life seen, there
has never been an instance were the situation seemed threatening. But, then
again, when I go to visit a neighbor I ring the doorbell and don't just kick
in the back door!