National Geographic Daily News
A researcher stands in the reconstructed jaws of a Megalodon.

Dr. Jeremiah Clifford, who specializes in fossil reconstruction, holds the jaws of a large great white shark while standing in the reconstructed jaws of a megalodon—a shark from the Miocene era that grew upwards of 50 feet long.

Photograph by Louie Psihoyos, Corbis

Ker Than

for National Geographic

Published August 7, 2013

The megalodon, a prehistoric shark that would dwarf even the largest great white, hasn't roamed the seas for millions of years. But it's inspiring real dread today, thanks to a new documentary that aired Sunday night on the Discovery Channel and that critics are decrying as fake.

Called "Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives," the two-hour documentary, which Discovery calls "dramatized," kicked off the channel's annual "Shark Week." It featured actors pretending to be scientists who are hunting for a live 67-foot-long (20-meter-long) megalodon nicknamed Submarine that is terrorizing humans and their boats off the coast of South Africa.

The show sparked online outrage, as viewers took to Twitter to blast what they called a "mockumentary" under the hashtag #megalodon and to demand an apology from the network.

"'We're out of fun facts about sharks so we've decided to make some up.' —@Sharkweek" tweeted @ElieNYC, inventing a sarcastic quote.

Also on Twitter, @chrishildreth referred to Shark Week as "Lifetime for animals now. Drama and bad acting," while @JBMason628 said, "As a scientist, I have completely lost faith in @Discovery trying to pass off #megalodon as real science."

Discovery aired disclaimers at the end of the show, but also insisted that "though certain events and characters in this film have been dramatized, sightings of 'Submarine' continue to this day."

The network's insistence—against all scientific evidence—that megalodon might still live angers and exasperates shark scientists like David Shiffman.

"If this megalodon special had aired on the Syfy Channel, I probably would have loved it," said Shiffman, a doctoral student studying shark ecology and conservation at the University of Miami's Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.

"But Discovery bills itself as the premier science education television station in the world," he said, "and they're perpetuating this utter nonsense."

Shiffman has been one of the show's most vocal critics on Twitter, where he tweets under the handle @WhySharksMatter.

A Prehistoric Monster

It's easy to understand why Discovery chose megalodon to kick off this year's Shark Week, though. Growing to an estimated length of over 50 feet (16 meters), megalodon—literally "megatooth"—resembled something out of a prehistoric nightmare and has no modern equivalents in terms of size.

"A great white is about the size of the clasper, or penis, of a male megalodon," Peter Klimley, a shark expert at the University of California at Davis, said in a 2008 interview.

Some studies suggest megalodon, which lived from about 16 million years ago until about 2 million years ago, had the most powerful bite of any creature that ever lived—strong enough to crush an automobile and far stronger than that of the great white shark or even Tyrannosaurus rex.

Another example of how intimidating megalodon could be: Where modern great whites hunt dolphins, scientists think megalodon hunted whales, or at least their ancestors, by biting off their tails and flippers.

"Modern great whites will scavenge on a whale, but not actually take a [live] whale," Klimley said in an interview Tuesday.

Like modern sharks, megalodon's skeleton was made mostly of cartilage. As a result, nothing remains of the creature except its teeth, which were made of a bone-like material.

That's enough, though, for scientists to get a sense of what megalodon looked like. "You can tell a lot based on just small parts of the bone," Shiffman explained. For example, "a lot of dinosaurs are known from a small part of bone."

Although the megalodon dwarfed its living cousin—the great white—in size and weight, scientists say the great white actually looks pretty similar, with both possessing large teeth and a blunt snout.

"If you picture a megalodon as a 50-foot [16-meter] great white, you're well on your way to what this animal was probably like," Shiffman said.

Mysterious Disappearance

For reasons that are still unclear, megalodon went extinct about 2 million years ago, during the middle Miocene era.

One hypothesis, said Klimley, is that megalodon was unable to adapt to changing ocean conditions.

Megalodon thrived during a time when the Earth's oceans were generally much warmer, and conditions were much more uniform.

But throughout the Miocene, the Isthmus of Panama started forming, culminating with the closure of the Central American Seaway around 3 million years ago.

This shut off any exchange between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and one consequence of this was that regions of Earth's seas became cooler.

Unlike its cousin the great white, megalodon may have been unable to evolve endothermy, or the ability to maintain an elevated body temperature, scientists say.

"White sharks are able to occupy cooler waters right now from off the coast of central California to Oregon," Klimley explained.

"These cooler waters extended northward, and [seals and dolphins] and whales also moved farther north in latitude, but megalodon was not able to do that."

Another factor in megalodon's decline may have been the rise of competitors such as killer whales. "Being social hunters, it has been suggested that they out-competed megalodon's hypothesized solitary hunting style," Catalina Pimiento, a shark researcher studying megalodon at the University of Florida, explained in a recent blog post.

Pimiento argues that studying extinct sharks like megalodon can have implications that are relevant to today's world.

"Great sharks today, like Megalodon in the past, are apex predators impacting communities via top down control," Pimiento wrote.

"As we change the oceans, we also trigger cascading effects on entire ecosystems. Understanding the past—how this shark interacted in its community—can aid in making policy for marine systems."

Inspiring Fear

Many scientists are upset by Discovery's dramatized show about megalodon because they say it uses fear and deception to generate public interest in the shark.

"It's kind of irresponsible," Klimley said. "It's just making something up to just scare people ... At least the movie Sharknado was kind of fun. It's so outlandish that nobody is going to take it seriously. But this is the kind of thing that people might take seriously."

Shiffman worries that fear could have a chilling effect on shark conservation programs. "There's a lot of people who now say because they saw it on the Discovery Channel, that megalodons are real, and we have to launch a campaign to protect humans against them by killing sharks," he said.

Follow Ker Than on Twitter.

82 comments
Daniel Cantine
Daniel Cantine

There are no facts that prove megladon exists today. There are no facts that prove megladon does not exist today. If you say megladon could exist, then you are open minded. If you say megladon does not exist, then you are closed minded. That is a fact my friends.

P.S. closed minded ppl are prob just scared flatlanders anyway, lole

fdsf fdsf
fdsf fdsf

don't know how anyone could believe that documentary I mean the opening video seemed very fake and the clear cgi of the whale carcass wasn't even good. 

As to it still roaming the seas, I think the biggest issues with it are, If it was around  food source and the fact that it would have to be in very deep water when it was known to exist ocean temperatures were alot warmer and possibly went extinct due to the fact it couldn't adapt to colder temperatures which sort of contradicts the theory that it could be living in deep water.  Also why would it only roam in deep water an apex predator that would have nothing to fear and possibly prefers warmer temperatures staying in the extreme depths doesn't make sense to me. 

    But this is all speculation it is very unlikely it exists today although no one can say 100% either way.  i think the far more likely explanation to sightings of it are miss identification with whale sharks or large great whites considering the largest great white recorded to date as far as I know was 23ft that would look huge and be scary to someone in a small offshore fishing boat.

Ernie Mink
Ernie Mink

Actually it would not be that hard to find a shark today 50 feet long in deep depths if you know where to look. But aTRUE Megaladon would be close to 100 feet. Now that's a rare find if it could be possible, just like the fact that a 100 foot giant squid was found frozen in the arctic.

Raymond De Mello
Raymond De Mello

First off the shark known as "Submarine" is a 30' Great White that frequents the area around the island, it is one of the largest on record. Evidently someone did not watch the show. Do I know if Megalodon exists? No but the evidence is compelling, I hear everyone talking about the U-Boat picture, but I never hear anyone talk about the picture the life guard snapped of the shark attacking the whale. Concerning the Mermaid show...Discovery Channel also had a disclaimer on that show as fictional.

Adam Michaels
Adam Michaels

Whether or not the documentary on the Megaladon was real or not, there isn't any evidence to prove that it doesn't exist either. We have been finding new species of fish and whales, some that scientists believe to be extinct for thousands of years. We are still finding new species on land and the ocean covers 70% of the planet. To say they don't exist without any evidence, is just absurd as saying they do. 

Phillip Brasell
Phillip Brasell

DC has no discovery, Home & Garden no garden and SiFi not much sifi. It's money everybody.

Shawn Cole
Shawn Cole

if you believe everything you see on tv, then you your a dumb a**. I enjoyed the megalodon show. I can not see why everyone is makin a big stink about the show. every tv show is about entertainment no mater what channel. if you want facts then pick up a book and start reading or take a class at your local university. you all need to get a life and move on.

April Fidler
April Fidler

If you watched Mermaid: The Body Found, you knew then that Discovery has gone over to the "dark side" of Science Fiction. My husband still has people at work trying tell him the mermaids are real b/c they saw it on Discovery. He has to explain to them that it was a mockumentary. It's absurd!

M. Waters
M. Waters

Lies, Lies, We can't believe a word you say!!!

The Discovery Channel has left science behind a long time ago, nothing but junk programs on the channel now.  They should be sued for fraud!! :-(

Nicole Gerber
Nicole Gerber

There is always a possibility that it exists, but really now - do we even have enough whales left after human whaling decimated populations to even feed a viable population of megalodons?

Khalid Latif
Khalid Latif

Hi, I am newly in, I have seen a vedeo of megalodon shark which was or extint a long time ago, but after seen that video i don't belive is it real.

In video they taged that fish but i have an idea they said that megalodon attack on humb whales so why they don't tage these whales so they can easly reach the megalodon, i'm not sure about this but it is a good idea.  

Jennifer Quinn
Jennifer Quinn

What kills me about some of the responses on here is how they make the point in and of themselves. Everything from the aliens exist method of proof to the flood killed ocean creatures theory to the Lady who was so disappointed in National Geographic, who incidentally had nothing to do with this show but just had an article about the show. This is the problem with mis-information most people do just run with the first thing they hear as long as it is presented as common knowledge. Whats worse they generally don't remember accurately what they heard in the first place

beverly ballard
beverly ballard

dinosaurs were big big so that could be with the shark but these animals were  too big to be with people i believe they went with the flood as the bible says it makes sense 

Gregory Hager
Gregory Hager

I learned a long time ago that a person should keep an open mind. The scientists told us that the coelacanth did not exist any more.

adam marr
adam marr

*warning warning maybe a fiction comment*  In my own personal opinion and terrifying fear off the ocean just entertain the idea that this shark could live in this day and age.  Oceans are colder granted but what if this megalodon stays near the bottom close enough to volcanic vents to stay warm and not be harmed.  Think of the idea this animal would infact need a running head start to push its own body and deal the amount of damage to a whale needed.  The idea that we have not found whales with damage like this does not suggest its not there.  Take in account that if something is dragged down far enough it is no longer boyount and sinks.  The art of a killer is to do its deed, leave no trace to it being there, and leave future victims unassuming in the area.  Only 5% of the ocean has been succesfully mapped, I heard this same thing 20 years ago as well, so either we just settle for 5%, or someones not telling us whats actually down there "dun dun duunnnnn*  theres some sci-fi to entertain you for all of 2 minutes.  Thank you Discovery, if i wasnt going into the ocean before the show i sure as hell aint now.  Take it deep.

Jennifer Tesinsky
Jennifer Tesinsky

 I think anything in this world is possible. I mean years ago people denied that there are aliens out there in the universe, but there indeed is. I am sure there is all sorts of life out there that we are unaware of, but it does exist. Is megalodon real, is it fake???? Who knows. But one thing is certain, and that is that we as people know very little about all that is out there in this universe. We are just scratching the surface right now. Just because you cannot see it does not mean it does not exist.......

Glenna Renee
Glenna Renee

I can understand both sides to this debate as to whether or not this creature still exists. I think it is quite ignorant of us as a species to completely dismiss the possibilities because our history books claim extinction. As others have previously said, this specific program may be more fictitious than not. That doesn't rule out the possibilities. We are learning more and more about the world we live in, and the other worlds that surround our planet. It's like saying that while millions of light years away there are planets that are possibly just like Earth and can support life like our planet, we humans are the only creatures with higher thought processes. I think it's time for us to stop be ignorant to things and only believing what other ignorant scientists before us have assumed. Let's just accept the fact that we do not know everything, and this documentary (or "mockumentary" if you wish) is for entertainment purposes. Get off your soap boxes and let's move on.

r m
r m

I am very disappointed by 'documentary'...largely, because other species thought to have been extinct have since been found!!!Shame on you, National Geographic, for making a scientific question about this species' existence into a fan-based, "scareamentary"!  Well, you got what you wanted and a lot of HATE MAIL to go with it!!!  Don't believe anything that National Geographic reports in mags, online, or TV....

David Baker
David Baker

It sounds like National Geographic is just mad that Discovery Channel got the scoop on news that Megalodon still exists! 

JANICE Darrow
JANICE Darrow

I didn't see the show, but if it was anything like the Mermaid shows that recently aired, no thanks!  They don't make the disclaimers obvious enough and there are some really gullible people out there!

Delicia Ambrosino
Delicia Ambrosino

As it is, our sharks need protecting. But you can rest assured that this was one viewer who was totally p****d off because they ended up showing the most benign shark of all-the whale shark- as the possible cause of boats lurching, etc. Did anyone consider all the squid out there for the disappearance of the seals? I doubt those mean creatures care whether its seal or human they eat. I for the life of me cannot figure out why they don't just electrocute or use some other way to eradicate those huge squid egg sacks until a normal population is once again reached. If it were a Megalodon wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that it surely would have made it's presence very well known with all the surfers, boaters, swimmers, and other maritime enjoyers of which it would have been snacking on before now...including the over abundance of the invading huge squid? And lets face it- a small boat could be half eaten if not wholly eaten by a Megalodon. If Discovery wants to maintain its popularity it had better back away from false summations and get back to real fact finding and.....discoveries. Not these hypothetical Megalodon stories hoping like crazy that this gargantuan fish is still alive.

A Davis
A Davis

Obviously you didn't watch the show. At first they suspected it was Submarine (a huge great white) but then they decided the creature was even bigger than Submarine and was possibly a megalodon.

J. J.
J. J.

I'm a bit surprised that this show has caused so much outrage, although I guess I see everyone's points. People apparently still expect all facts and truth from the Discovery Channel even though they've been airing shows on Bigfoot and the like for a long time now. But really, I agree with what another poster has said already. Want to be angry about something? Be angry about NBC Sports' Shark Hunting show. The Megalodon mockumentary is pretty harmless compared to that. What we really need, what we REALLY, REALLY need is not to convince people that sharks are not out to get them, but rather teach them to respect wildlife in all of its forms, be it shark or wolf or snake or whatever. Do you really think that riding the Discovery Channel of giant prehistoric shark mockumentaries is going to do the trick while in the next channel there's a show glorifying a bunch of imbeciles killing REAL sharks for fun?
Shouldn`t that sort of show be illegal, people?

Also, it is my opinion that going to the other extreme and trying to present sharks as harmless and cuddly to the masses is just as dishonest and harmful as presenting them as monsters. Same is happening with wolves.
Conservationists tend to believe that convincing people that these creatures are harmless is a good way to prevent their killing, but they're wrong. When they swim with dangerous shark species to "prove" that they're harmless, or when they tell people once and again that there's never been a wild wolf attack in whatever number of years (which is a lie, but thats another story), they may have the best intentions but they're risking a catastrophe. The moment a shark or wolf attack occurs, the conservationists' credibility will be gone, and the public image of the animals they were trying to protect will be severely damaged.

Why can´t we just accept both sides of the coin? Wild animals CAN be dangerous, and we should respect and protect and give them their place regardless of that, because seriously, aren`t we humans dangerous too? Do we go around killing people because they could POTENTIALLY kill someone else? What we need is honest television that does not portray wild predators as either monsters or cuddly, but rather as the unique, fascinating and important creatures they are, with a dangerous and brutal side to them, like the sea or volcanoes or lightning, because that is the way nature is, and we shouldn`t expect it to fit with what we think is ok. 

Or that is what I think.









JOSEPH COSSUTH COSSUTH
JOSEPH COSSUTH COSSUTH

I grew up in south Florida. In the 1960s my entire family was on my fathers boat between key biscayne and elliott key in biscayne bay. Suddenly my father shouted at all of us to look ahead at this giant fin approaching us from about a quarter mile away. We were heading north, the giant was swimming south and it passed us on the east side of the boat at a distance of approximately 100 to 150 feet away. As it passed its fin rose  out of the water somewhere in the area of 3 to 4 feet. My father said he thought it was a white shark.  To this day I believe it was not a white shark but something larger and here is why....When the animal swam into the boats wake I witnessed its trunk size being much much larger than that of a white shark. It looked like the side of a submarine with a wall of flesh 4 to six feet wide. The flesh was a yellow grayish color and had the appearance of a camouflage look. This is the truth and my still living relatives all witnessed it.

Joe Cossuth

Jamminjoe10@att.net

Johnny O
Johnny O

Love it when the Pot calls the Kettle "black!". NatGeo "jumped the shark" years ago, when an over-eager editor insisted on publishing an article in the Society's monthly mag about a new "bird-dinosaur missing link" - "Archeoraptor" - a determination based solely on an amateur collector's evaluation, with no input from consulting credible scientists. Turned out the fossil was a mish-mash of real and fake fossils. Given its bird connection, it was only fitting that NatGeo ended up with egg on its face. Now NatGeo is calling out Discovery for airing fake science? Get real! At least Discovery aired disclaimers saying the show was fake, unlike NatGeo which published an article that was initially promoted as 100% accurate and true. (I think the over-eager editor even kept his position, when he really should have been fired - giving you an idea of NatGeo's true policy when it comes to the promotion of "pseudo-science.")

Marlo Tetzlaff
Marlo Tetzlaff

I do agree with you Adam King, there is  a lot of shark research being done and new information out there. I am aware of it but typically not from "Shark week" As you said, they tend to focus on the apex predator aspect. They show sharks more it seems, FOR entertainment for the most part. I'm generalizing a bit, but like you said, and as well as Jackie S said, what they are depicting is more action, and entertainment oriented. We don't see hour long episodes of shark week, with scientists looking at shark tissue under microscopes for the betterment of mankind. Does it occur? Yes. Is it interesting? You bet. But, maybe not to everyone, and certainly not as exciting as showing a great white going in for the kill right...  I think that shark week in itself is for entertainment value. Discovery is tv. Sharks are cool. They are fascinating, and capture our interest and fears. They make for pretty good tv. I don't see "dung beetle week", although could be equally fascinating to some. I'm just saying spicing it up with a "what if" kind of show pertaining to sharks was not so bad. I watched it. I liked it. Did I believe everything in it, and vow to never swim again, no. Like my comparison to bigfoot, ufo and ghost shows, there is a certain amount of stuff on Discovery channel that is for entertainment. A bit less than scientific in some views. Great shows to some though, and if we learn something along the way too, great. My point is, the scientists in the above article missed the point a bit, and maybe over reacted to it. They themselves took it a little more seriously than intended. Maybe Discovery channel should have made a little more effort in the disclaimers, for younger viewers or whatever. I didn't take it too seriously, but I watched it. It entertained me. It is still good tv, in my opinion anyways.

Linda Stepp
Linda Stepp

Viewers of the Discovery channel do believe it presents credible information.  If Discovery wants to create a fictional shark docudrama, it needs to be presented as such if they want to remain credible.  If this feature was not clearly represented as fictionalized shark drama and people believed it to be true then credibility has already been compromised.  So Discover Channel, what's it going to be?  Do you want be be viewed as a credible source of information or not?  If so, you should act responsibly now to dispel any fear or notion that Megalodon still lives and do it quickly. 

Jackie S.
Jackie S.

While I see their point about over-dramatization, I've also picked up a few copies of National Geographic magazine, focusing on sharks and all you see are large photos of great whites going in for the kill. The article would describe the animal and how endangered sharks really are and why we need to protect them and yet all you see as a visual is Jaws personified. Isn't that the same type of thing? Everyone's just trying to sell their product, be it tv show or magazine but maybe we should all just stick to the facts.

Marlo Tetzlaff
Marlo Tetzlaff

"But Discovery bills itself as the premier science education television station in the world,"   Really?    Oh, so they can't spice things up a bit for entertainment value? Drum up some interest in shark week to kick it off? Seemed fun to me. Anyone who has watched shark week over the years has realized that there is not too much new information to depict. What's next then? No more bigfoot shows? UFO shows, or Ghost hunter type shows?  Are those shows "Scientific"?  Seems to me, TLC doesn't have anything scientific or "learning" on it anymore at all. It's all entertainment for people who like that sort of thing. At least Discovery does. Not all the programing is completely scientific. Did you forget we were watching from the couch, not the boat?  hahaha

Andrew U.
Andrew U.

If you guys really want to get upset, go look up "Shark Hunters" that airs on NBCSN . . . it's horrible. 

We've lost 90% of Earth's shark population since the early 50's, yet this show glamorizes some balloon-heads doing their best to wipe out the last 10% . . . I give up on our species . . .

Jonothan Crapshoot
Jonothan Crapshoot

Marine Biologists are getting angry over a program? People are getting upset because they filled a slot on SHARK WEEK with a prehistoric animal that in actuality could POSSIBLY have left some trail of evolution? People are now even more scared to go in the water because of MEGLADON?! ALL BULL ISH!! My 8 year old niece can do enough research to know that you are more likely to get struck by lightening than get attacked by a shark..furthermore, IF you do get attacked by sharks or you know someone that has been eaten whole by effing MEGLODON, SERVES THEM RIGHT!! The human race has been killing these animals for thousands of years..for every human, 2 million sharks are killed? Eye for an eye..

sheri preston
sheri preston

I saw the show, i thought it was really good! .... but i guess you can't please everyone!

Kevin Zaw
Kevin Zaw

@M. Waters you have no idea on this kind of  thing .

study more ,read on sites, search etc.

you will know.

tnx

kayla spurlock
kayla spurlock

@adam marr lol your funny(: and i totally agree with you. i am terrified of the ocean and can barely watch any shows that has to do with it, its like my own horror movie which is weird because i can sit and watch a real horror movie and it wouldnt bother me. but i totally agree with you. i wasn't going in the ocean before..and now.. its a definate no. like you said.. we dont know whats really in there. we JUST found the colossal squid which may i say...is FREAKY especially its eyes. *shivers*.. im good. ill build my little tree house and huddle under my blankets while you scientist go have fun getting eaten by a huge shark. ^-^  

J. J.
J. J.

@Delicia Ambrosino I must say I'm confused... whale sharks? Giant squid? Are we talking about the same documentary? 



Delicia Ambrosino
Delicia Ambrosino

@J. J. I couldn't have said it any better JJ. Kudos to you. WITH one exception. The televising of killing sharks may not be ethical under the circumstances concerning the great decimation of shark population. However, asking if that shouldn't be illegal opens up a whole new can of worms concerning Freedom of Speech, etc. and puts the subject in a whole different category at least here in the USA. While I am for saving all different kinds of species {including human} I am also all for our Constitutional Rights. I do however think that each and every human being really needs to do some soul searching as well as become more aware of what is happening to our oceans inhabitants and all that is on land and in the air as well. Our earth is being desecrated more and more. The land and waters are being raped at an alarming rate. And our air will eventually become un breathable. And yet there are those few powerful and rich people out there that care only about money. And what's really sad about that is that they don't even consider what the outcome will be for their own families now and in the future. It must be understood by ALL that without our world maintaining a working, ecologically balanced system {including population control within the human species} we are as doomed as all the species on the endangered lists. In fact, our species should be on that list as well because to destroy our ecology in all it's forms is in fact destroying ourselves. Our earth can only take just so much punishment before it starts to fail. I, our only home planet, is very delicate. Still, I would be willing to bet that our world will be able to heal once most of us are gone. After all it is US who is doing all the harm beyond the normal natural catastrophes.

Delicia Ambrosino
Delicia Ambrosino

@JOSEPH COSSUTH COSSUTH

 I can believe that there were huge sharks back then simply because they weren't hunted as they are now and their pups weren't being killed by being caught in nets and drum lines. But I still highly doubt it was a Megalodon. Since the Great White is its closest relative I would suspect they can get pretty huge. In fact I saw an actual, unretouched photo of a humongous shark bitten almost in half by a shark even larger .I must admit, that pic scared me. The dead shark had its head remaining then came a very, very wide gap where there was nothing but its back bone, then a portion of it lower torso and tail fin. The shark had been attacked from the depths underneath it ...that much was obvious. I didn't stand a chance even as big as it was and with all its huge teeth. I was absolutely aghast. There are shark that are 20 plus feet long. That is almost half the size of a Megalodon but still pretty impressive. I would say you, your dad, and fellow boat members were lucky.

Jon Mitchell
Jon Mitchell

there is a fundamental difference here - what Discovery did was present something they created whole cloth (i.e. fiction) as if it were fact. Archeoraptor is more a case of overzealous/sloppy journalisim - NatGeo SHOULD have checked the facts before publishing- regardless there is a moral/ethical difference between the two. As stated by someone upthread, the only credible/valuable show that Discovery still has is Mythbusters - pretty much everything else that they produce is crap.

J. J.
J. J.

@Jackie S. But then, should we show the public pictures of great white sharks swimming peacefully ONLY? That is not the whole true. The fact is that sharks are predators and they do go for the kill, and when they do, its messy, and its not nice. Yet it is the way of nature; I see nothing wrong with showing this in the magazine. Trying to "convince" the public that animals such as wolves and sharks are harmless, nice and cuddly is not only dishonest, it also does a lot of harm to their conservation, because its not the truth. The thing here is that we humans have to learn to see the beauty and the value in wild animals just the way they are- not the way we want them to be.

Adam King
Adam King

@Marlo Tetzlaff Your comment suggests that Discovery is only recycling the same information because "Anyone who has watched shark week over the years has realized that there is not too much new information to depict.". This is actually a very false statement, and as each year passes, new and very interesting information regarding sharks is presented to the scientific community. It is true that they want to spice it up and "make a buck" but it is at the cost of missing out on fantastic, even life changing data. Some interesting subjects are the research into sharks and dementia and their immunity. As well, cancer research on sharks has been performed (in the hopes of treatment) because of their regenerative abilities. The US navy has also applied a coating of material that is similar to the denticles on shark's skin to stop corrosion and barnacle infestation (a trait commonly found in whales but not in sharks). And this is just the human element. More and more sharks are being discovered, but the discovery channel would rather only focus on the ones that are the "apex" predators such as the Tigers, Bulls and Whites. And with these varieties, there is still a lot of grey area. If shark week put funding towards trying to solve the still-standing mysteries of these 3 sharks, then maybe it would be more interesting and better way of spending cash. And it would STILL be good TV. 

Delicia Ambrosino
Delicia Ambrosino

@Andrew U.   The real problem is Japanese and others finning sharks by the thousands and they throw them back in alive, gill nets, and drum lines, not to mention pollution. Did you know Preparation H uses shark product? I believe its oil is used. Plus the dietary supplement of shark cartilage. And the shark fins are suppose to enhance male libido-oysters do, shark no. Now here is a thought. Naval bases around the world use depth charges which kills all species of animals within a few mile radius, drives whales and dolphins to beach and killing more in the open seas because of the sound and in some cases the immediate pressure caused. I don't agree with Shark Hunters doing there thing while many sharks are endangered. But I will tell you a little secret. The human male has always had to exude power over most everything he has ever come across personally whether it's academics or catching the big one or living on the edge. Men seem to be driven to be the best at SOMETHING even to subjugating others to their will. Look at business, sports, education, politics. While you will of course see females in these areas the majority is still male. Therefore males dominate. Who does most of the Shark Hunting? Who is behind most of the shark finning? I could go on. But to a degree if the male mindset on power, domination, and wealth doesn't change I am afraid you will still be seeing Shark Week, The Deadliest Catch, and others that have nothing to do with the environment at all. At least River Monsters return the fish back to freedom but still there is some major testosterone going on there along with a majorly fat paycheck.

So please don't give up on our species, especially us women. But I do encourage you to talk with the male gender and spread the word about what is needed to save ourselves from almost total annihilation.Being an advocate for all that lives in our world is in fact an attractant to many women by the way-so talk to them too :>) There are many reputable organizations on the web. The one thing we all have is a voice and each of us desperately needs to use it.

J. J.
J. J.

@Andrew U. I agree! People are blowing this Megalodon thing out of all proportion. That show you mention is much more worrying than this.

Chris O'Connell
Chris O'Connell

@sheri preston Ok, entertaining maybe... but you do understand that it was all nonsense, right? Not being "pleased" has to do with the fact that there are no facts in the program, and that's not a matter of taste.

J. J.
J. J.

@Delicia Ambrosino @J. J. I guess I can see your point, and yes, I agree with you that Earth has the ability to heal- hell, at the end of the Permian period I believe about 90% or so of all life on Earth went extinct, and all the mind blowing diversity we see today comes from a fraction of the remaining species... Earth can go on without us, but we can`t go on without Earth.

JOSEPH COSSUTH COSSUTH
JOSEPH COSSUTH COSSUTH

Thank you for your well expressed  response...I really enjoyed reading it. I would like to share with you that I have spent my entire life fishing in the deep blue waters of the Atlantic. I have seen many many sharks in the fifteen to twenty foot range-these look like cars under water- and this was much much bigger- more like a submarine. Unfortunately one has to see it with ones own eyes to feel its awesome and humbling prescence. Thanks again...Joe  

Share

How to Feed Our Growing Planet

  • Feed the World

    Feed the World

    National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series.

See blogs, stories, photos, and news »

The Innovators Project

See more innovators »

Latest News Video

See more videos »

See Us on Google Glass

Shop Our Space Collection

  • Be the First to Own <i>Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey</i>

    Be the First to Own Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

    The updated companion book to Carl Sagan's Cosmos, featuring a new forward by Neil deGrasse Tyson is now available. Proceeds support our mission programs, which protect species, habitats, and cultures.

Shop Now »