Shark week used to be all about telling people just what sharks were all about. These gliding “demons of the deep” as some have called them in the past are fascinating in the way they hunt, live, and even just exist. The most frightening part about a shark isn’t what we’ve seen in real life, but rather what’s been portrayed in the movies. Sharks have gotten a seriously bad reputation for being maneaters thanks to media and films that paint them as mindless, blood-loving, oceanic killing machines. The truth of it is that Shark Week has kind of lost its appeal when it started taking on projects to showcase why sharks are truly terrifying instead of why they’re so interesting. The sensationalism and shock value of the week has taken over where knowledge and the chance to educate people used to dominate.
So here are a few things you might have forgotten about shark week thanks to the need of the producers to “spice it up” a little.
5. A good deal of the hard facts are not about how dangerous sharks are.
Sharks are a species that have come close to being endangered due to extraneous hunting measures. Harvested for their fins and a few other pieces many sharks have been killed, stripped, and then dumped overboard. Many people have even gone after sharks on the premise that they are a problem and are a dangerous hazard to others. Much of this is simply fear and paranoia.
4. A lot of it is strictly for entertainment.
Take the race that was between Michael Phelps and the great white. People were absolutely incensed to learn that Phelps would not be racing an actual great white. This is the caliber of viewer that these shows are now pulling in, the type that think it’s okay to risk the safety of anyone while attempting to find out something as trivial as who’s faster in the water.
3. Some of the shows can be misleading.
Sharks are seen as terrifying and this is very true. They can be intimidating from afar and even more so when someone is in their element. But as it’s been explained so many times sharks don’t go after humans unless they mistake a human for one of their natural prey. And more to the point, sharks will tend to let go if they get a taste of human.
2. Some of the real facts get glossed over.
So what about the fact that a shark has a cartilaginous skeleton? How about the fact that they can live for so long? What about the interesting fact that they do in fact rest from time to time? Oh, and what about the very real fact that over time the shark has not had to evolve nearly as much as any other animal to thrive in its environment? These are interesting facts that get glossed over by the need for other silly pursuits.
1. Sharks are not as violent as they’re made out to be.
If a shark gets violent there is bound to be a reason. If they get violent with a human then there must be a VERY good reason. Ever notice how animals in nature tend to move away from humans rather than confront them right away? The shark is no different. They’ll come close to investigate more often than not and if you decide to be smart and not aggravate them then chances are they’ll leave you alone.
There might be a lot more pertinent information that gets forgotten during shark week but common sense shouldn’t be included.