Why Is Shark Week a Thing?

Live every week, like it’s shark week – Tracy Jordan

Since 1987, for one week out of the year the universe loses its collective shit over sharks. Why? Sharks are badass we love to see them destroy the living sh** out of everything that comes in their path. But which part is the factor that compels us to watch Discovery Channel year after year? Are we fascinated by the finesse of these sea creatures? Or do we enjoy seeing the blood shed as they bite through a seal’s torso as if we were watching an episode of Dexter?

Gnarly, dude.

We love sharks

If Discovery Channel did a week long special on… dinosaurs or cats, I highly doubt people would freak the f**k out over a week long programming event dedicated to one species of the animal kingdom. But sharks? Another level. Theyre quite the majestic creatures of the sea, and they also scare us. If you’ve ever watched Shark Week, you’ve probably heard 5 dozen men with Australian or New Zealand accents say something along the lines of  “they can smell fear”. First of all, what in the world does my fear smell like? Does it smell different from your fear? Can I waft it or do I really have to sniff around for it? Secondly, its a scary thing that sharks can smell my fear considering they don’t even have real noses basically (just nostrils from what it looks like to me). The fact that we perpetuate this, whether its real or not, says a lot about sharks… A.K.A. its a nice excuse we use to try to assert what a badass we’re being (ie: Just stay calm like me, they can smell your fear – Oh alright douchebag, way to call me out Mr. Calm). Besides that, sharks are huge ass predatory creatures that can jump multiple feet outside of the water. Have you ever tried to propel yourself out of the water like that? Right. Something about the whole shark – a fish, actually – fully emerging out of water is incredibly fascinating and mesmerizing. The way Discovery Channel plays it over and over again, forward, backwards, stop motion, real time, slow motion, extremely slow motion, watch it again, and one more time just to make sure you saw that… only ingrains in our brains how amazing these creatures are. Shark Week lets us marvel in the sharks’ glory. And we love it.

We’re sadists

The second theory of why we love Shark Week so much is that we’re possibly all f***ed up sadists. Something about the chunks of seal flesh being thrashed about is just about as enticing as Kate Upton in a GQ spread, or Ryan Gosling in flannel. We can’t help ourselves. Because horror movies are too much when people are involved, we love seeing how sharks are literally “killing machines”. It’s fun watching predators work, especially when we’re not in the water but instead are sitting asses on our couches watching from afar. Those poor unsuspecting sea mammals… what were they doing in shark water anyways? They had it coming to them. Gory shark attack videos are the epitome of Shark Week. We love seeing how those rows after rows of shark teeth can actually penetrate flesh. Unfortunately it also includes human shark attacks. Maybe the sadist in us likes to listen to the accounts of survivors of shark attacks,  maybe we like to learn the insider tips – you know, just incase we find ourselves face to face with these behemoth animals (kick it in the nose seems to be the consensus).  Sidenote: another great part about Shark Week is the plethora of cute surfer boys/men and the Hugh Jackman-like Australian and New Zealand etc. accents proliferate Discovery Channel this week.

Having watched Shark Week for years now, I should say that the programming has gotten incredibly repetitive. I can only watch How to Survive a Shark Attack 1, 2, and 3, about three times, and the Best of Shark Week only keeps me occupied for the first 15 minutes. For the sake of Free Willy, you can only play a launching shark out of water about 10 times. I assure you, if you record a Shark Week program, and fast forward through the whole thing – you are guaranteed to not miss a fantastic shark attack… and in half the time!

I must say though, Shark Week also has a great unifying factor about it. Both tree huggers / eco-friendlies / vegetarians as well as carnivorous dudes out there (who more or less couldn’t care about the animal eco system), can all bask in the glory of Shark Week. It brings awareness to the general population about sharks, their endangered habitats and how they’re being hunted, and also very much advocates against practices like shark finning and commercial fishing to name a few.

Anyways, here’s the Official Shark Week Drinking Game, thanks to the folks at BroBible:

  1. Drink every time you hear an Australian, South African, or British accent
  2.  Drink every time you see a diver in a cage.
  3.  When a great white is ‘jumping’ out of the cage, drink from when the shark exits the water til it the re-entry
  4.  Drink every time a person mentions chum, a shark attack statistic, or a shark fact (note: this can only happen once every person)
  5. Drink every time the camera shows a surfboard or person underwater in the same frame as a shark. Also drink if they show you a chewed-up surfboard.
  6. Every time a new person is interviewed, drink
  7. Every time a person is declared a “shark expert,” drink
  8. Finish your drink at the end of the episode. Should you not finish between the end of the episode and the start of the new show, chug an extra beer.
  9. If they mention the state you live or have a house in. Drink. ( If they talk about Mass, Chatham, or Jessup don’t be a b*tch and drink)
  10. Drink every time the show references a new type of shark. If the shark does not attack humans (nurse shark) drink three times.
  11. If a shark attacks an animal, drink until the animal dies or escapes. If the animal is a seal, finish your drink.
  12. Drink every time someone mentions punching a shark in the nose or eye to stop an attack.
  13. Drink every time a Facebook friend posts a #sharkweek status on Facebook or Twitter.
  14. Drink every time some one mentions “Jaws” or if the “Jaws” theme music plays then say “we are going to need a bigger boat”.
  15. Drink every time Andy Samberg is on TV.
  16. When a shark attack victim talks about the attack, drink for 1 second per 5 stitches the victim received. If the victim is a girl or a young child, double the time.
  17. Drink half of your beer for every limb the shark victim lost. If it happened to be their genitalia, the least you could do is drink the whole beer.
  18. Drink every time you see a subdued shark being poked, prodded, or given a tracking device on a boat.
  19. Every time you mutter LL Cool J’s lyrics, “Deepest, bluest, my hat is like a shark’s fin” under your breath — or aloud. Drink. (And good f*cking luck getting that out of your head.)
  20. Drink because it’s f*cking shark week. (Editor’s Note: This one looks to be subjective, so interpret however you see fit.)
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