Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives
Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives is a 2013 mockumentary first aired on American TV network Discovery Channel about the possible survival of the prehistoric shark. The story, with only short disclaimers at the beginning and ending indicating that it is fictional, revolves around the loss of a pleasure boat and crew off the coast of South Africa and an ensuing investigation that points to an attack by a member of the species megalodon, a prehistoric shark thought to be long extinct. Its format is that of a documentary that includes accounts of "professionals" in various fields related to Megalodon. It follows a similar format to another docufiction aired by Discovery Channel, Mermaids: The Body Found.
The show, like Mermaids, came under equal criticism and scrutiny by both scientists and ordinary viewers due to the attempt to present fiction as a non-fiction documentary. Despite the disclaimers, some people actually believed they were watching a real documentary while others were offended that a docufiction show would be aired on a channel that had been known for true science shows.
Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives now ranks as the biggest Shark Week episode to date, with 4.8 million viewers. Much of the infamy it gained from this was mostly backlash at the network itself, though the host Brian Switek said that the film "gave science communicators like me an easy target."
- CNN. "Discovery Channel defends dramatized shark special 'Megalodon'". cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
- Switek, Brian (2013-09-08). "It Came From Basic Cable – Phenomena: Laelaps". National Geographic. Retrieved 2014-02-02.