We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Blog (Shark Week Edition)

I can’t remember a time in my life when I did not watch Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Shark Week is my favorite week of the year. I’m not sure exactly what it is that draws me to Shark Week but I always make sure to watch every show at least once. I especially like shows that focus on some of the more unique species like the Saw Shark and the Greenland Sleeper Shark.

Unfortunately, over the past few years I have found the Shark Week programming more and more disappointing. Instead of shows highlighting new research or rarely seen behaviors, lately, Shark Week has been focusing on specials relating to popular culture and sensationalism. This year’s opening show, ‘Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives’ was especially disappointing.

‘Megalodon’ is a faux-documentary, similar to Animal Planet’s ‘Mermaids’, investigating the possibility that the “dinosaur” shark Megalodon still exists. Watching ‘Megal0don’ left me thinking “Seriously?”.

I love monster movies more than most. If there’s a movie with a giant mutant creature terrorizing a city, I have most likely already seen it. But there is already a channel that specializes in that kind of fantasy, and it’s called the Sci Fi Channel. Pieces like ‘Megalodon’ have little education value and unfortunately ‘Megalodon’ also had limited entertainment value. I think I learned more about global warming and the perils facing modern sharks from the ridiculous Sci-Fi film “Sharknado” then from “Megalodon”.

I also am annoyed by Shark Week’s fascination with Great White Sharks and other “man-eaters”. There are so many species of sharks, why not show diversity to match that. I understand Great White Sharks and Tiger Sharks are the creatures of nightmares with their “soul-less eyes” and their undiscerning appetite, respectively, but am I the only person who gets sick of the repetitiveness and fascination with confrontation? Even in the shows that are supposed to focus on unique behaviors of the Great White Shark like ‘Return of Jaws’ and ‘Spawn of Jaws’, the focus of the show is more on the process of tagging the sharks then analyzing the data collected.

As of today there are three nights left of shark week. Though I will watch then all, the only show I am really looking forward to is “Alien Sharks of the Deep” which is set to show on Thursday August 8th at 10 PM Eastern Time.

Hopefully the negative reaction to this years Shark Week as a result of “Megalodon” will inspire Discovery Channel to improve the Shark Week Line Up for 2014.

Below you will find some of my favorite shark videos from the Discovery and National Geographic Channels :

How Mako Sharks Speed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcO1UHVNkEI

Alaskan Salmon Shark Breaching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOyPr28TLmg

Bull Sharks in Indian Rivers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiXcAL3otQ4

Octupus Kills Small Shark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeV7yvNIScY

Tiger Shark Learns to Hunt Albatross: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd0E1h5Yr-4&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLivjPDlt6ApQ8vBgHkeEjeRJjzqUGv9dV

Nurse Sharks Mating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uYhW-g5E4

Great Whites Feeding on Whale Carcass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T20vkGZxULo

Shark Tooth via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 at 15:23
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