How to Learn What’s Real – and What Isn’t – on Discovery’s Shark Week

By David Brown and Alain Stephens and Brenda SalinasAugust 15, 2014 4:31 pm

Shark Week is winding down on the Discovery Channel, and with the annual televised ritual comes an uptick of interest in sharks. But with many scientists saying lots of Shark Week facts are dead in the water, how do you separate fact from fiction?

Texas Standard’s David Brown recently spoke with freelance writer and evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox to shed a little light on what’s real and what isn’t.

“Certain Shark Week shows – there is a lot of informational content in them,” Wilcox says. “But others, not so much.” So how does the average audience member sort through what’s fact and what’s fiction?

“Unfortunately, Discovery makes that pretty hard for the average American, but people like me and places like Upwell have put out schedule guides that tell you which ones are based on fear, and which ones are based on science,” Wilcox says.

So how much does the Standard know? Christie decided to quiz us on a couple of common beliefs, including:

  • Will sharks drown if they stop moving?
  • Will sharks really eat anything?
  • Did a shark really pop up in Lake Ontario?

What’s true, and how did we do? Listen to the audio to find the answers.

A Great White shark swims off Guadalupe Island on the pacific coast of Mexico.