Just a reminder that Shark Week ain’t what it used to be

When it began in 1988, the Discovery Channel’s week-long love letter to one of the oldest species on the planet was amazing. Never-before-seen footage of the great predators of the deep blue sea was astounding and awe-inspiring. Sharks became the coolest thing in the ocean and fixation of every beach goer’s irrational fears thanks to countless documentaries about the dauntless aquatic hunters and Spielberg’s Jaws. But last year, Discovery Channel did something new with Shark Week: they made a bunch of stuff up and passed it off as real science. Actors posing as scientific researchers hypothesized the existence of a megalithic shark from the days of dinosaurs called Megalodon which still roamed the Earth’s oceans, killing humans for sport. They later came out and admitted that the show was purely for entertainment, but most people bought into the fib. When you watch Shark Week this year, remember, it isn’t science if they can’t back it up.

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