Grab Your Chainsaws, It’s Shark Week Day 4

Now that I rely heavily on streaming services for my entertainment, I’m really not used to commercials. Apart from the ads on YouTube and Plex, that is. But those ads don’t always last that long, and sometimes I have the option to skip them. Watching Shark Week, with all its commercials reminds of the good old days. I’m usually so spoiled – I can cast my media of choice onto the computer monitor a.k.a. makeshift tv in the kitchen while I’m cooking or doing dishes. With Shark Week, I dart off the couch at the start of the commercial break, charge into the kitchen, and wash dishes while craning my neck over my shoulder to check if the show is about to come back on. It’s exhilarating.

Minerva is contemplating if it would be worth it to just stay hidden until I stop this sharky nonsense

Mechashark: Inspired by last year’s snackbox, Alister Baxter created Sid the Mechashark for Kina Scollay and Mark Erdmann to use in their latest scientific endeavor. Don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of Mechashark that will attempt to destroy human kind – it’s a shark-shaped diving cage! Yes, Kina essentially dressed up like a great white shark so that he could swim amongst them and stay fully protected, which is very important because the sharks were certainly interested in him. Sid took quite the beating. But why were the great whites going after Sid? This was yet another episode about great white mating habits. By using the Mechashark to get up close and personal, Kina and Mark were able to observe the aggression and territorial behavior associated with mating. After watching this episode, I got the feeling that shark behaviouralist Michelle Jewell would have been an excellent addition to this team. If there’s a sequel to Mechashark, I would love to see her involved somehow.

The Real Sharknado: Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are back to face off against the biggest Sharknado ever. Just kidding. Dr. Tristan Gutteridge was with them the whole time trying to prove that Sharknados aren’t real and could never happen (not that we didn’t all know that already). Honestly, I don’t think anyone was expecting any in-depth scientific research from this one – it was pure entertainment and just tons of fun. And what little science was in the show basically just felt like a set up for some cool looking dives. The most interesting bit of science was testing the theory that tiger sharks will eat just about anything that gets washed into the ocean during a hurricane. Scientists suspect that they actually follow hurricanes in order to gain access to this all-you-can-eat buffet. I had a feeling the therory would prove to be correct, as tiger sharks are known to be the “garbage bins” of the shark world, but it was still wildly entertaining to see that they will, in fact, eat bananas. Honestly, I would watch an entire episode of just tiger sharks eating fruit. It was delightful. And, of course, by the end of the show, Ian and Tara admitted that Sharknados are not possible on land.

This is the perfect day for my Sharknado shirt and some Great White inspired makeup. Thanks to films and media, these are the most well known sharks, but they’re also portrayed as mindless killing machines – which is not the case AT ALL. Humans are more dangerous to great whites than they are to us.

Return to the Lair of the Great White: I’ll admit, I was a little worried when this episode started. The opening scene didn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the show. And based on what I saw in those first few moments, I thought this was going to end up being one of those fear-mongering style shows that put more focus on the shark attacks than on the shark conservation. Thankfully, that vibe did not last long. This show was actually about great white pupping grounds (which is a much more interesting topic). Following last year’s expedition when a juvenile shark was spotted, Dr. Craig O’Connell led Marc Payne and Madison Stewart on the search for a pupping ground in Australian waters. As the show progressed, I was worried it would end much like some of the other attempts to find mating sites and pupping grounds where even though progress is made, they never actually achieve their goal. So imagine my surprise when I found myself staring at a screen full of juvenile white sharks. That’s right, the team made an incredible scientific discovery and now knows the location of a nursery lair. I bet next year there will be a sequel documenting the team’s efforts to learn more about this nursery so that it can be properly protected.

With so many show about shark mating and pupping grounds this year I’m really getting excited. So far, one nursery has been found, and I think it’s only a matter of time before scientists start finding more. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing more shark pups in the years to come, and I think it won’t be long at all before there’s footage of a live birth on Shark Week. This is so big for conservation efforts and I truly hope that we can all work together to protect the many endangered shark species. If we loose these apex ocean predators, we’re in for a world of trouble.

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