Chasing Barracudas - Moving Past Fear
By Samantha Schilke; October 4, 2021
When I was younger, my family and I used to do a week-long trip down to the Florida Keys every year. My younger brothers and I were year-round competitive swimmers, so we felt perfectly at home in the water. We spent a lot of time snorkeling the beautiful reefs in the area, enjoying a variety of sea creatures from colorful fish to lobsters and more. Naturally, the reefs were also home to predators – most notably, barracudas.
Barracudas earned their villain status in Finding Nemo. They are barrel-shaped fish with a pointed head that’s filled with teeth, and they can get up to five feet long. The barracudas float above the reefs, looking for prey, and were constant companions on our snorkeling adventures. My younger brother, Steven, became terrified of them. To the point he would refuse to get in the water when they were near. A skinny preteen, some of the larger barracudas matched him in size, and looked much meaner.