install theme

Shark Week bites: Discovery criticized for hugely misleading documentary.By Jacob Kastrenakes via The Verge.

Image credit: First image - screenshot via thescienceofreality. Second image - supposed megalodon footage [from Discovery’s video] screenshot via The Verge.

The megalodon was real, but the movie is fake.

Viewers have rallied around the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week for decades over its unabashed love of science and its glorification of violent sea creatures. But this year’s event, which kicked off last night with the documentary Megalodon: The Monster Shark That Lives, may have committed a cardinal sin: lying to viewers about sharks.

It should be no hard work talking up the megalodon. It was a massive, 50-foot-long creature with a jaw capable of crushing an automobile. However, the ancient shark is known to have gone extinct around 2 million years ago, but Discovery instead presented the beast as an almost mythical creature that could still be alive today. According to Discovery’s online poll, which was captured by Discover Magazine before being altered, the film succeeded in convincing nearly three-quarters of respondents that the long-extinct megalodon was still alive.

Discover Magazine tore the supposed documentary apart this morning, pointing out that its evidence was faked and that the scientists who appeared in it were only actors. Though the film was prefaced with a disclaimer that casually distanced all of its content from any major semblance of truth, the disclaimer itself flew by in small font over a quick five-seconds. Among the disclaimer were broad statements like: “Though certain events and characters in this film have been dramatized, sightings of [a supposed megalodon] continue to this day.”

On Twitter, viewers who knew the truth have been quick to call Discovery out for the misleading film, with many comparing it to the fake documentary on mermaids that was aired earlier this year by Animal Planet. Actor Wil Wheaton bemoaned the entirety of Shark Week as having lost its value, remarking, “Remember when #SharkWeek was about science and biology and learning?” Others said that airing the fake documentary was “embarrassing” for the channel, with one person also comparing the film to a Sharknado prequel.

Though Discovery has been turning Shark Week into more and more of a pop-science event for some time now, it hasn’t quite crossed this threshold in the past. Previous years have seen the Mythbusters tackling legends about sharks and unlikely events from the film Jaws. For next year’s special, they may be able to look to Megalodon for more inspiration.

Watch part of Discovery’s video here.

910 notes
comments powered by Disqus

910 notes

, #shark week #Discovery #Discovery channel #misinformation #science #humanactions #megalodon #dissapointed
  1. imdeanbytheway reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  2. hoy-como-siempre-pensando-en-ti reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  3. lifesbackwardandforward reblogged this from the-science-llama and added:
    People; try not to take the Discovery Channel, the News, and especially the History Channel seriously….
  4. greatwhyteshark reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  5. lifefearless reblogged this from alibrariangoestoikea
  6. alibrariangoestoikea reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  7. whatevermorleywhatever reblogged this from shaaarks
  8. pourcupinegloves reblogged this from systema-naturae
  9. purplehexagon reblogged this from shaaarks
  10. dmndset reblogged this from apartofsomething-beautiful
  11. shaneduffy100 reblogged this from tuesdaygenius
  12. hidetheoppars reblogged this from the-only-mystery-worth-hunting
  13. the-only-mystery-worth-hunting reblogged this from thesailortitan
  14. thesailortitan reblogged this from mariahoenenevigglad
  15. mariahoenenevigglad reblogged this from shaaarks
  16. chosencurse reblogged this from galaxyclusters
  17. frilled-shark reblogged this from shaaarks
  18. fullof4nswers reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  19. insomsloth reblogged this from sarrialives
  20. dramaticalgasmask reblogged this from msaether
  21. arsushi reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  22. hippopotamus-hi-tops reblogged this from soprie
  23. spookasemsophie reblogged this from soprie
  24. soprie reblogged this from thescienceofreality and added:
    Capable of destruction =/= prone to violence. Humans are the deadliest animal on the planet. Sharks are going extinct...
  25. morceaux-de-miroir reblogged this from the-science-llama
  26. glitterfr33ze reblogged this from lufteluke