Here at ScienceBlogs, we’re generally fans of the Discovery Channel. MythBusters is great. Man vs. Wild is thrilling. Planet Earth is, of course, one of the most sublime ways to spend an hour—or if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the boxed DVD collection, eleven hours. Straight.
But we just can’t get behind Shark Week. Here’s the thing: Shark Week has been airing annually since 1987. Every summer for over twenty years, people have gathered to their television sets to learn about how to defeat a Great White if attacked (punch it in the nose), and how long sharks have been around for (300 million years, before even the dinosaurs).
But why give sharks all the glory? Sure, they’re impressive—but are they that much more impressive than a giant squid, say, or the much-feared Portuguese Man o’ War, or the recently discovered see-through barreleye fish? Where are the weeks devoted to these?
And what about land-dwelling creatures? Ought we to ignore the star-nosed mole simply because it hasn’t been the subject of its own blockbuster? If it’s the danger factor we’re looking for, how about the hippotamus, which is responsible for more human fatalities in Africa than lions, tigers, or elephants?
What would you like to see on The Discovery Channel in place of Shark Week? Leave your suggestion as a comment and who knows – maybe you’ll be seeing promotional posters for Three-Toed Sloth Week soon.