Sunday, July 5 marks the moment once again to sink our teeth into Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, the one true nighttime relief for summer sunburn. But when did Shark Week even begin? What do the current festivities entail? And what cool shark stuff is there still to learn? Let us tell you everything with these gnarly facts.
- The first Shark Week premiered July 17, 1988, with 10 shows including shows Caged in Fear, The Shark Takes a Siesta, and Sharks of a Different Color. This year marks the most programming in all of Shark Week history.
- Breathe a small sigh of relief: You are actually more likely to be killed by hornets, wasps, bees, or dogs than a shark.
- Baby sharks don’t have it easy. As some shark embryos develop teeth, they eat their unborn siblings until becoming dominant, in a process known as “intrauterine cannibalism.”
- Shark Week is the longest running cable event in history and is broadcast in over 72 countries.
- The grey nurse shark, rated cuddliest shark, is nicknamed the “Labrador of the sea” for its calm nature. Wouldn’t recommend them as pets.
- 2015 will include Shark Week’s first visit to Cuba, for an expedition called Tiburones: The Sharks of Cuba. But the programming will also cover New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, the Arctic, and the U.S.
- As part of this year’s festivities, you can watch a live cam of the Blacktip Reef exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore—just in case you need your shark fix at work.
- If things come to it, here’s where a shark does have blindspots: one in front of the snout, and the other directly behind the head. We still wouldn’t risk it though.
- This year, the technology jumps to another level with Shark Planet featuring 13 species, filmed across the globe in the latest 4K and high-speed camera technology. Their behavior gets the full documentary treatment.
- The reason you haven’t seen a talking shark movie—they don’t have vocal chords. That explains that whole “silent killer” thing.
Don’t miss Shark Week when it kicks off Sunday, July 5 on Discovery (Ch. 278).