Shark Week Turns 25: Don’t Go in the Water, Again

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Gerard Soury/ Getty Images

A great white shark photographed in Mexico.

It’s August, and as if we don’t have enough going on this summer (hi, London Olympics!) it’s also time for everyone’s favorite annual orgy of ichtheology, Shark Week. It’s been 25 years since our friends at the Discovery Channel first launched their week of special shark-themed programming, and since then we’ve spent a lot of time compiling some of our favorite aspects of our least favorite maritime predator. Click here for the Top 10 Unforgettable Shark Moments.

And if you want to cut right to the chase, here’s some sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

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Some of the new shows look exciting this year and the others may surprise but in general I'm a little disappointed with recent shark weeks.  Sweet shots of great whites jumping were great the first time that was done but last nights shows were at least the 3rd and 4th shows to basically do just that with very little innovation of substance unless you count the way over the top title (air jaws: apocolypse, really???).  Then there will be the usual shark survivor stories and a shark myth mysthbusters (which will hopefully have a decent amount of original content but looks like its just a top 25 clip show).  Where is the science and discovery part of the shows though?  There are no good informational shows in the line up and only the great white seems to get any coverage.  I guess there just haven't been enough new discoveries to fill a show but there are so many shark species to look at I find it hard to believe you couldn't do at least one traditional nature documentary that isnt solely focused on getting spectacular film or feeding things to sensationalized robot sharks.

I guess nature documentaries are to Discovery what music videos are to MTV these days.