Thalassophobia, like many other phobias, is a response to a particular stimulus. Unlike aquaphobia, a general fear of water, thalassophobia deals specifically with the unknown possibilities associated with the open sea. Thalassophobia can include fear of waves and large bodies of water. As with many other phobias, there are plenty of movies that can cause discomfort to those who have thalassophobia. Some are pretty obvious; others are perhaps a little less so.
The following still images from sea-themed films shouldn't be overly triggering for those who have this specific phobia; however, sitting through a two-hour deep-sea adventure might cause someone to spiral. The ocean is vast and filled with mystery - these films only address a small portion of what lies beneath the surface.
Open Water might manage to trigger thalassophobia with its title alone. The film is based on the real-life account of two scuba divers who are left behind to fend for themselves when their dive boat fails to take an accurate headcount. Basically, Open Water is the worst film imaginable for thalassophobes.
On top of the film's true-life inspiration and the aforementioned open water, the creators filmed with real sharks.
Actors: Saul Stein, Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Estelle Lau, Michael E. Williamson, + more
Directed by: Chris Kentis
While the surface of the ocean is terrifying, what's underneath can be much worse. The movie 47 Meters Down (2017) utilizes the same premise as other aquatic horror films, but it does them one better by stranding its two actresses not just in the ocean with sharks - but beneath it.
When two sisters vacation in Mexico, they're talked into cage diving to see sharks up close. Of course, something inevitably goes wrong, and the cage ends up sinking to the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by sharks.
Actors: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Chris J. Johnson, Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura, + more
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
While sailing to Indonesia, a group of friends capsize their boat and try to swim to a nearby island. Unfortunately, the water is also inhabited by a great white shark. This harrowing Australian survival film - the second from writer-director Andrew Traucki - is based on a true story.
The real-life origins of this open-ocean horror story are sure to make it even more terrifying for thalassophobes.
Actors: Zoe Naylor, Adrienne Pickering, Gyton Grantley, Damian Walshe-Howling, Kieran Darcy-Smith, + more
Directed by: Andrew Traucki
While most thalassophobia-inducing films take place far out at sea, The Shallows (2016) is a stark reminder that the ocean can be terrifying even when you're just a little ways from land. Blake Lively plays a surfer who is enjoying the waves a few hundred yards from shore when a great white shark attacks her. She struggles against her injuries and the incoming tide, makes friends with a wounded seagull, and tries to outwit the shark.
Even those who aren't usually bothered by the ocean might find themselves squirming in their seats during this film.