The first original program to run during Discovery Channel’s 2013 showing of Shark Week was an over-dramatized show looking at the possibility of the existence of Megalodon, a giant shark at one point believed to be an ancestor of the White shark.
The show starts with a dramatic video that looks to be shot by an amateur with friends on a fishing trip. One of the friends hooks what they refer to as “something big” and eventually the boat goes down. Then the show starts talking about how the boat was attacked from below and could have been from a Megalodon. The show continues on to follow marine biologist Collin Drake and his “team” as they search for the giant predator off the coast of South Africa.
I was pretty skeptical of any of the information being given. Using the power of the internet, I searched for marine biologist Collin Drake. The search results only included references and descriptions for the Discovery Channel show I was watching. Not a promising first step in figuring out if there’s accuracy behind what I’m watching.
Then I searched for the fishing charter accident driving the whole plot behind the show. You would think that if a fishing vessel went down mysteriously in April of 2013 off the coast of South Africa with no survivors, it would certainly be in the news. So I looked. I searched Google, I went to some of the South African news outlet sites and searched through archives and performed searches on boats sinking, etc. The results of my searches again returned nothing. That makes no sense. In this day and age, and with the people shown in the introductory “video” being white adults speaking English, there’s no way this wouldn’t have been covered more extensively in the local, national and international news.
I also searched for Hawaii whale carcasses to match the ones described in the show. Again, nothing similar to what was shown. Additional I looked for any records of the Brazilian Coast Guard rescue video that seemed to show a giant creature swimming near a rescue site. Nothing. Again.
After using the powers of the internet to search for the past 90 minutes, I’m decently convinced this show is for dramatic effect only and has no real scientific value. We’re just being duped into watching this. All Discovery Channel needs to do to thrill viewers is show real footage of the creatures up close, not drum up some ridiculous and currently unverifiable story to capture an audience.