Surviving Sharks

I saw this episode while skimming through Netflix's Watch Instantly selection. It's from something called "Shark Week" on The Discovery Channel. I was intrigued by the title and decided to watch it.

It's hosted by Survivorman, who I have never heard of.

In short, this show was lame, and a waste of 45 minutes. From the overdramatic introduction by the host to the bad B-movie soundtrack, there's not much I could recommend about this program.

The show consists entirely of bad shark stereotypes. The introduction talks about reef sharks being killers and how dangerous it is to be in the water with them. That's right, reef sharks.

The show is split into three segments: when do sharks feed, how to behave in the water, and how to deter sharks from biting you. Each is filled with loads of bad science. In fairness, he says his experiments are unscientific, but if that's the case, what's the point? He ends each segment by making broad claims based on his poorly-conducted experiments.

For the first segment he chums the water at night and during the day to determine the most dangerous time to enter the water. Suprise! Sharks will eat food anytime you feed it to them! He comments on how vicious the sharks are as they devour 500 pounds of frozen chum. Yes, because they eat humans with the same gusto that they consume dead fish parts.

For the second segment he tests whether you should kick or stay still when in the water with a shark, and whether it's better to be in a group or on your own. To attract a shark's attention, he chummed the water and put some kind of attractive scent on the test dummy. Anything that happened from this point is irrelevant.

Lastly, he tests out shark foam and an electronic device meant to deter sharks. This is probably the most interesting segment as he just tests the products, leaving little room for him to screw things up. I believe he claims that sharks don't like having foam sprayed in their eyes, but I was dozing off so I can't be sure.

I loathe this "survivorman" not just for his annoying voiceovers, but several reasons: he chums water heavily, he spread false shark stereotypes, and he does so under the banner of pseudo-scientific claims.

If you're really bored, check it out. Otherwise, skip it. Go for a walk, play with your kids, do something else; I watched it so you don't have to.