I love sharks. I do. I love sharks all year round. Having the Discovery Channel focus on sharks for one week out of the Summer is awesome. Some of you might be watching the Hallmark Channel for their Christmas in July fun, but I’ll be watching Shark Week.
Sharks are majestic and magnificently misunderstood. For instance, did you know that sharks can hear fish over a mile away? Sharks have special sensing organs called ampullae of Lorenzini that can detect electric and magnetic fields in water. What does this mean? Sharks can detect your heartbeat in the water. They can hear and feel panic! Most of the time they are swimming around, doing their thing, but just like all of us they need to eat. Many people think sharks go after anything to eat, but in truth, most sharks are kind of lazy. They prefer going after old, diseased fish. This helps the ecological well-being of all marine life!
Now, let’s talk about Shark Week.
If you watch any of the 2021 new episodes for Shark Week, please let is be “Crikey! It’s Shark Week!” Robert Irwin goes diving with conservationists Paul de Gelder and Madison Stewart. Now, Paul de Gelder is by far my most favorite shark conservationist, he’s also super swoon-worthy. We all know Robert Irwin, he’s the son of Steve Irwin the crocodile dude. Robert Irwin’s excitement surrounding learning about sharks is infectious. He has such a deep appreciation for the ocean and these great fish.
One show I did appreciate but went into it with mixed emotions was “Tiffany Haddish Does Shark Week.” Haddish is a comedian who is sometimes just a wee bit too much. Yes, there were times when she was a bit too much during her episode, BUT she wanted to learn. She wanted to learn about sharks, specifically shark sex, and she put in the work. She was squeamish about chum, but aren’t we all, aside for the chum she was all in and I loved it! Haddish is joined by Dr. Toby Daly-Engel, Dr. Craig O’Connell and Alanna Vellacott.
Recruiting for Shark Academy
In addition, the first-ever shark series, SHARK ACADEMY premiered Sunday, July 11 on discovery+ and I’ve watched the first two episodes so far. It’s interesting and I’m curious how they cast the people who are competing to be a new member on shark scientist Dr. Riley Elliott’s team. Ren Slatter and Randy Thomas both seem like natural fits. I’m hoping that Randy will be chosen. He is the calmest in the ocean and seems to have the most respect for the other scientists. The only oddity here is that he is a marine educator out of Detroit. I mean I know there are lakes in that area, but no oceans with sharks. There are other recruits on the show, but I think it’s a stepping stone to their acting careers or for some kind of personal brand.
Sometimes Discovery Makes Bad Decisions
Sadly, there have been two Shark Week episodes that really irritated me. I feel like there are producers on Discovery who want to pull in a different demographic than their usual viewers, so they also people like the crew from Jack Ass to get involved. The Jack Ass show never should have aired, honestly, even though it featured one of my favorite scientists, Dr. Craig O’Connell. Dr. Craig aka The Shark Doctor, is the ONLY reason I even watched the episode. He’s awesome, I learn a lot from him about these great apex predators, but if I were him I would have said to cut me out of the show completely.
The second show that has upset me thus far is the one featuring David Dobrik and his ridiculous vlogging team. Him by himself, maybe with his friend Todd would have been fine. However, the rest of his team were so over the top that I almost turned it off. Again, the swoon-worthy Paul de Gelder saved the day. Had he not been in the episode I would not have sat through it. Sadly, the Discovery Channel plans to keep Dobrik as a host for their Discovery+ application titled “Sharkbait.
The Shark Week 2021 Schedule
Shark Week 2021 will feature two documentaries, available exclusively on discovery+. The powerful and timely documentary from Eli Roth, FIN, will premiere Thursday, July 13. In FIN, Roth and a professional group of scientists, researchers and activists sail around the globe to unveil the truth behind the death of millions of sharks, exposing the criminal enterprise that is impacting the extinction of the misunderstood creatures. ENVOY: SHARK CULL, premiering July 1, narrated by Eric Bana follows the biggest names in ocean conservation as they reveal the importance of sharks in our oceans while uncovering the longest marine cull in history.
Shark Week fans can look to the skies on the East Coast for the first-ever SHARK WEEK blimp, at 128-feet long,44-feet high, it is one of only 15 flying today. The blimp will take off from Nashville and travel up and down the East Coast through July 20. The fam and I will be heading to the beach on the 17th and I really hope I get to see this blimp!
To help Discovery’s finned friends, SHARK WEEK fans can text Shark to 707070 to support Discovery’s SHARK WEEK Fund through Pledge, a donation platform for today’s mission-driven companies, nonprofits, and people. Help protect sharks and preserve our oceans by contributing to the organizations Oceana, Beneath The Waves, and Ocean Conservancy.
Some final shark facts
- When you flip a shark upside down they go into a trance like state called tonic immobility.
- Each whale shark’s spot pattern is unique as a fingerprint.
- They have the thickest skin of any animal species. Some sharks have skin that is 6 inches thick.
- More people are killed by bee stings and lightning than by shark attacks.