Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go! Shark Week Day 6

I finally broke my husband. He’s used to my Shark Week shenanigans, but I may have crossed the line this time. He wanted to go out for ice cream, until he realized that I was wearing my shark inspired makeup. I finally did it – I made him embarrassed to be seen in public with me. Not only do I consider this a win, but now I’m determined to get even weirder, even sharkier next year. Oh, and we did end up going out for ice cream. No one stands between me and my ice cream.

The great geek sneaks up on the unsuspecting Bubs…

Ninja Sharks: Mutants Rising: Ninjas are cool and all, but ninja sharks are even cooler. Especially the ones featured in this show. Dr. Craig O’Connell led a team of researchers to investigate the brief two week appearance of thresher sharks in Montauk, New York. In this short window of time, the goal was to figure out exactly why these sharks were visiting that particular area for that specific amount of time. Since this was such a short expedition, this show was padded out with footage from other scientific expeditions to study different species of ninja sharks. Sand tigers and salmon sharks got a respectable amount of screen time, and there was even an interview with Joe Romeiro all about mako sharks! In the end, Dr. O’Connell’s team succeeded in catching a thresher and equipping it with a fin cam and satellite tracker. Not only was this the first time scientists have see the world from the point of view of a thresher, but they discovered the reason for their two week visit: food. Now that the scientists have a better idea of the reasons behind the thresher’s schedule, they can work to establish rules and regulations for fishermen during that time so that they don’t take all the prey items away from these vulnerable predators. I really hope they’re able to establish some form of protection for these sharks, and others. Thresher sightings are already so rare, it would be a shame to lose them altogether.

Monster Sharks of Andros Island: What has the head of a shark and the body of an octopus? A Lusca, of course. (Don’t worry, I had never heard of it either). This mythical monster supposedly lives in the blue holes around Andros Island in the Bahamas. But that’s not the only interesting creature in the area. Tristan and Annie Guttridge, along with Alannah Vellacot and Khrys Carole traveled to this mysterious island to investigate the large number of great hammerheads there. Bimini is typically considered the hammerhead hot spot in the Bahamas, but could Andros be a hot spot too? And are those sharks there year round, or do they migrate. The team uncovered the tip of the iceberg while diving in the area. Between tagging and filming, the discovered that these sharks don’t leave Andros in the summer months. They also found that the abundance of oceanic wildlife in the area could have easily contributed to the myths and legends surrounding the Lusca. But I’m still holding out hope that this shark/octopus really exists.

It’s time for one of my favs: the Mako Shark! From that boopable snoot to the crescent shaped tail, this shark ninja is build for speed (note: do not actually boop this snoot).

Mystery of the Black Demon Shark: Another sharky legend? Fantastic! This time, the mythical creature in question was the Black Demon Shark in Mexico off the Baja Peninsula. After speaking with local fishermen, Forrest Galante began the search for this shark with skin as dark as ash, and a mouth large enough to swallow a whale whole. In fact, the fishermen were all convinced that this shark really did eat whales. But even though Forrest attempted to use whale decoys to draw in the predator, he didn’t catch this mysterious monster. Until… He came across a whale shark. This large shark does have a black back, and a very large mouth, but it’s no monster. It follows the whales because they have the same food source: plankton. This demon is more of a gentle giant. While watching this episode, I cried a little as Forrest traveled the coast of Mexico. He came across such diverse wildlife that at one point he said that this is what oceans would have looked like before we interfered. It was unbelievably sad, but it only steeled my resolve to do all I can to protect our oceans. And if Shark Week can inspire others to feel the same, that would be fantastic.

I Was Prey: Terrors from the Deep 2: Since this was in the 11pm to 12pm timeslot, I had to skip this one. But even if it wasn’t late at night, I might just have skipped it anyway. If you’ve read any of my Shark Week posts from previous years, you know how much I loathe these kinds of shows. Not only is it sensationalizing someone’s near-death experience, but it paints sharks in a negative light. Discovery has spent all week showing us programs that focus around the idea that if you love something, then you’ll want to protect it. And then we get this nonsense that is just telling us to fear sharks again. Even if the more modern shark attack shows end with something alone the lines of we should still love and protect sharks despite these attacks, I still find these kinds of shows incredibly distasteful.

I think in the past, when there were more shark attack related shows in the Shark Week lineup, specials like I Was Prey were necessary. People came to Shark Week to watch the shark attacks, and then ended up learning about the science and conservation if they stuck around. But that’s not necessary anymore. Now, Shark Week has the celebrity guest appearances. Those shows are being used to draw people in. And the lure of a celebrity guest is far more positive than the chance to see a grisly wound. Seriously, it’s 2021 and many sharks are endangered or critically endangered. Can’t we just stick to the science, conservation, and celebrities?

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