Last week was the perfect week on television, AKA the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. The network has been bringing us underwater terror for the past 26 years, but this year they began the week with a rather different kind of shark special.
The special broke a record for Shark Week, bringing in 4.8 million viewers, but as the show aired, those shark specialists watching realized something that most of America did not.
The footage was dramatised.
Meaning, it’s a fake.
Megalodon has been extinct for millions of years, but because the special aired on, I don’t know, THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL, and not Syfy, people expected shark experts, scientists, and the essential “It may or may not exist” conclusion. Kinda like what experts say about the Loch Ness monster. Instead, viewers were shocked to see “real” footage of a shark cage being destroyed by a sea monster and a whale that was bit the fuck in half. Bit right the fuck in half. We thrive on sensational television, and it doesn’t get more sensational than a whale getting bit the fuck in half. IN HALF. It’s just as well that Megalodon doesn’t exist, because no one would get in the ocean ever again. We’d be toothpicks to anything that could bite a whale in half.
Dear Discovery Channel, you’re no better than Sharknado, but at least Sharknado had the decency to warn us that Tara Reid was in the movie. The network did give us a standard “this isn’t real” disclaimer, which showed up on screen for approximately 2.5 seconds. I watched the special, and I sure as hell didn’t see a disclaimer, probably because I blinked (apparently, you need a Weeping Angel in the room when watching Discovery Channel specials).
Thank God for John Oliver, who rips the network to shreds with his traditional snark.
Best to leave the science-fiction to the Syfy channel in the future. Which reminds me, there’s a sequel to Sharknado in the future. Maybe they should collaborate with the producers of Megalodon.
- Discovery Channel’s Fake Megalodon Documentary Kicks of Shark Week 2013 (wafflesatnoon.com)
- Internet Officially Mad at Shark Week for Airing a Fake Megalodon Documentary (geekosystem.com)
- Here’s how Shark Week wrecked shark science (io9.com)