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SYLLY: Shark Week Day 6 - You're killing me!



I have whiplash from the tennis match that was Friday night's programming. From "I can't believe they did this" to "Oh my god that's awesome." Friday Night's lineup: Cash Cab: Shark Week Edition, Megalodon Fact vs. Fiction, Bloodline: Spawn of Jaws, Great White Shark Babies.

Don't hold your breath.

Cash Cab - Shark Week Edition

Cash Cab has been on Shark Week a few times. I did not like any of them. This can't possibly be truly random people getting into a cab to go somewhere. Can you imagine being completely drunk and just trying to get home when suddenly lights inside your Uber start flashing and you suddenly have to take a pop quiz?

Ben Bailey is the host/driver of the Cash Cab. He asked mainly pop culture questions that had very faint references to sharks. There were a handful of actual Shark Week worthy questions but it was mostly crap like questions about Katy Perry's left shark perfomance in the Super Bowl.

Best I can say is at least it wasn't a re run.

Megalodon Fact vs. Fiction

Remember where I said it had me at the point of "I can't believe they did this?" Well darlings, this is it. Megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived 2.6 million years ago and grew to be approximately 60 feet long. They had jaws that were 8 feet wide and 8 feet long.

Five years ago Discovery Channel played a heinous joke on the world. They made a fake documentary about a living megalodon. They are now calling it a "movie" but when it was being promoted it was billed as a documentary. Discovery channel made quite the joke about how angry all of Shark Week's fans were about this and made this program to tell us how many facts they got right in their "movie" by forcing us to relive clips of the obscene prank they played on us. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!

Re watching the parts of that monstrosity was physically painful for me. When it first aired it was bad, just bad, but now to have it defended and our noses be rubbed in "Megalodon facts" is Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie level bad. Throughout all this punishment it was very clear that this was a thinly veiled promotion for the movie "The Meg." This was just cruel. I'm still going to see The Meg though.

Bloodline: The Spawn of Jaws

102 years ago the shark attacks at Mattawan creek inspired the book Jaws. Characters from 1970's Montauk Point, Long Island were the basis for the characters in the book. I love the movie Jaws but the release of the book and movie were the worst thing to ever happen to great white sharks. The raw fear of sharks climaxed and great white sharks were slaughtered almost to the point of extinction.

Dr. Craig O'Connell, Paul DeGelder, and Joe Romeiro want to find out if the giant great white sharks have returned to Montauk yet. They only found Juvenile great whites. Unfortunately this episode was jumpy and pixilated so I didn't get the full second half, and the episode is not available on the Discovery Channel app or website for some reason. From what I saw they traveled to Cape Cod and found the massive great whites they were looking for.

Just to be clear it has been proven that a great white could not have been responsible for the killings at Mattawan Creek in 1916. They happened in a creek that empties into the ocean but was primarily freshwater. There is only one species of shark that could be responsible, bull sharks. Freshwater will kill a great white in minutes. Great whites are bigger and scarier than bull sharks so they were used in the book and movie. Peter Benchley regretted his role in the shark murders for the rest of his life and was part of the early Shark Weeks and his own shark conservation organization to try to repair the damage he did to the reputation of the sharks.

Great White Shark Babies

OMG BABIES!!!!!! Very little is known about great white shark reproduction. We know that they are pregnant for about 2 years and estimate 10 pups per litter. Great white shark babies are about four feet long at birth and it takes about 25 years for them to fully mature. They have never been seen mating and where they give birth is still a mystery.

Dr. Mauriciao Hoyos, Dr. Toby Daly-Engel, and Michelle Jewell are taking a CSi approach to find out where great white sharks give birth. They found a great white shark nursery at Baja Mexico. They believe these babies were born from the adult female great whites at Guadalupe, Mexico. They collect DNA from 15 bitey babies in Baja and collect DNA from the adult females of Guadalupe and test them against each other to try to create the first great white shark family tree. In the end the DNA of the babies did not match any of the adult females but...... several of the DNA samples from the babies revealed they were siblings. Siblings but not from the same litter. There were age differences of 2 years between siblings. Meaning the same mother shark returned to the pupping grounds more than once to give birth. It gets better. All of the siblings of all ages had the same mother AND the same father! Meaning the same pair of sharks has mated more than once and the mother returned to the same area each time to give birth. The researchers did not get the answers they expected or hoped for but their findings opens a whole new door for research. Can great white sharks be monogamous?


I started this night of Shark Week feeling like a fraud. I am supposed to love Shark Week right? I have been so disappointed in a lot of the programming this year. There were bright spots in all the bad parts though. Tonight's finale blew me away! New knowledge about the great white nursery being a place they return to over and over is compelling evidence to protect the waters there from the fishing industries. Great whites stay in their nursery for years. They aren't old enough to reproduce for 12 years and their reproduction takes almost two years which is one of the reasons they are so slow to make a comeback. Their birthing grounds have to be protected. Great White Shark Babies actually made me forget how mad I was about the megalodon nonsense. On a side note, while filming in Baja there was excavation being done in the region and baby megalodon teeth were discovered. Baja seems to have a long history with large baby sharks. I continue to love sharks and Shark Week is still giving me a little hope that it is going to be the Shark Week that I have always loved. This feels a little like a bad relationship LOL.


Sylvia Papineau is an Arcade resident and self-proclaimed Shark Week 'finatic.' Watch All WNY News all week for her take on Shark Week 2018 specials.