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Woman Conquers Lifelong Fear of Sharks by Swimming with Twenty of Them

Indonesian teacher swims with sharks

To Swim with sharks, any kind of shark, is not easy for the average human. Muthi Annuriy for instance, has been afraid of sharks her entire life. However, it was high time she decided to do something about it. The 29-year-old teacher from Indonesia came up with an outrageous plan to swim with 20 sharks to overcome her fear. Although the sharks turned out to be nurse sharks, still you’ve got to hand it to her, after all, for someone with an obsessive fear of sharks, even a nurse shark is enough to give you the shivers.

Facing the Fear

woman swimming with sharks
Muthi Annuriy getting ready to dive. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

Annuriy, who works as a teacher in Indonesia, has always been terrified of sharks. Determined to overcome this fear, she decided to take a bold step during her trip to the Maldives, an Island nation in the Indian Ocean. Maldives is a beach haven that makes a perfect getaway if you’re looking for azure waters and pristine beaches.

Choosing a Safe Environment

Woman diving
She chose the Maldives. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

She selected nurse sharks for her encounter. Known for being relatively harmless and docile, nurse sharks provided a safer option for someone confronting a deep-seated fear.

The Initial Dive

woman with sharks
She lost her fear. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

Initially, Muthi was understandably nervous. She began by lying on her back in the water, allowing the nurse sharks to swim around her. This first step was crucial in building her confidence. It was a tough task for her because the water was full of sharks, approximately twenty of them.

Gaining Confidence

woman diving with sharks
She dove deeper. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

As Muthi’s confidence grew, she started to swim deeper among the sharks. This gradual immersion helped her adjust to the presence of these magnificent creatures without feeling overwhelmed.

Respecting the Sharks

Indonesian woman with sharks
Muthi Annuriy swimming with sharks. Source: YouTube, Channel, SWNS

Throughout the experience, Muthi emphasized the importance of respecting the sharks’ space. She refrained from touching them and ensured her movements were non-threatening, making the interaction safe and respectful.

Emotional Impact

large nurse sharks
Large sharks began appearing. Source: YouTube, Channel, SWNS

Muthi described the experience as “incredible.” She felt a sense of accomplishment and awe as she swam with over 20 sharks, transforming her fear into a memorable adventure.

Psychological Benefits

The Initial dive with sharks
The initial dive. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

Conquering her fear had profound psychological benefits for Muthi. It boosted her self-confidence and provided a new perspective on overcoming personal challenges.

Inspiration to Others

woman and sharks
An exhilarating experience. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

Muthi’s story serves as an inspiration to others facing their own fears. Her journey highlights that confronting fears head-on, in a controlled and respectful manner, can lead to personal growth and new experiences.

The Role of Support

Large nurse shark
A large shark swims close by. Source: YouTube, Channel SWNS

Support from friends and guides played a significant role in her journey. They provided encouragement and ensured the safety measures were in place, making the experience both enjoyable and secure.

A Lifelong Memory

woman looking at sharks
A lifelong memory. Source: Channel, YouTube.

Swimming with sharks has become a cherished memory for Muthi. It’s a testament to her courage and a reminder that sometimes, the best way to conquer fear is to face it directly.

Nurse Sharks: Habitat and Range

Nurse sharks habitat
Nurse Sharks. Source YouTube, Channel: SWNS

Nurse sharks are commonly found in warm, shallow waters of the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans. They inhabit coral reefs, sandy bottoms, and seagrass beds, often resting in crevices during the day.

Nocturnal Hunters

Nurse shark swimming  with woman
Nurse sharks are nocturnal predators. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

These sharks are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. They hunt for food such as fish, shrimp, squid, and crustaceans under the cover of darkness.

Distinct Appearance

nurse shark appearance
A nurse shark. Image by Tchami, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Nurse sharks have a distinctive, flattened body with a broad, rounded head. They can grow up to 14 feet in length, but most individuals are between 7 and 10 feet long.

Unique Feeding Method

Nurse shark looking at womn
Nurse sharks can be gentle. Source: YouTube, Channel: SWNS

Nurse sharks have small mouths and use a unique method of suction to capture their prey. They can create a powerful vacuum to suck in food, which is particularly useful for catching small, agile prey.

Docile Nature

Nurse Shark
Nurse Shark and yellow pilot fish close up on black background while diving in Maldives. Image by Izanbar via Depositphotos

Despite their size, nurse sharks are generally harmless to humans. They are known for their calm and sedentary behavior, often found resting on the ocean floor during the day.

Breathing Adaptation

Live sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates) and the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), also known as the grey nurse shark. Image by wrangel via

Unlike many other sharks, nurse sharks can pump water over their gills to breathe while stationary. This adaptation allows them to rest on the ocean floor for extended periods without needing to swim continuously.

Conservation Status

nurse shark
A nurse shark during a scuba dive in Belize. Image via Depositphotos

Nurse sharks are currently listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their populations are threatened by habitat destruction, overfishing, and the shark fin trade.

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