It's hard to deny that Discovery Channel's Shark Week is entertaining. But are its segments always accurate? That's a stretch.
Last year, they gave us "Megaladon: The Monster Shark That Lives," which didn't sit too well with real shark experts. This year, they opened with, "Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine," the "fake-u-mentary," zoologist Michelle Wcisel of Southern Fried Science writes, that "literally broke my heart to watch" because of the lengths it went to to exaggerate the truth.
But, as any real shark lover will tell you, these apex predators are fascinating on their own merit, even without ominous background music, scary-deep voiceovers or fictionalized storylines. Just check out the following shark experts, enthusiasts and conservationists who live shark week, every week.
These social media accounts scale the world's oceans to learn about and promote sharks in a responsible way -- whether it's documenting the misunderstood fish or tracking their behaviors, to exposing the lies behind Shark Week's production, or just getting in some good quality shark time.
Here are 13 people who are better than Shark Week in a totally real, non-fabricated or reenacted way:1. David Shiffman
A no nonsense marine biologist who studies sharks at the University of Miami:
— David Shiffman (@WhySharksMatter) August 11, 2014
3. Ocean Ramsey
Ocean conservationist, freediver and shark
Freediving world record holder and ocean ambassador for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature:
— William Winram (@WilliamWinram) August 11, 2014
5. Christopher Bird
Marine biologist and PhD candidate who is all about deep sea sharks and, apparently, Sharknado casting calls:
— Christopher Bird (@SharkDevocean) July 29, 2014
6. These Actual Sharks In Australia
More than 300 sharks are tweeting live from Australia. Actually, they're tagged sharks linked to a satellite and connected to a Twitter account that sends out notifications any time one enters a specific area in Western Australia:
Fisheries advise: tagged White shark detected at 2.5 km off Trigg receiver at 05:08:00 AM on 13-Aug-2014
— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) August 12, 2014
7. Juan Oliphant
Underwater photography wizard, diving partner to Ocean Ramsey, and shark conservationist:
More formally known as the Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation, a non-profit organization on the island of South Bimini in the Bahamas that studies marine animals with a soft spot in their hearts for sharks and rays:
— BBFSF Sharklab (@BiminiSharkLab) August 12, 2014
A non-profit organization that creates funky shark art to save the sharks (and, in general, the oceans):
Unadulterated, science-approved shark and marine animal information. NOAA is legit:
— NOAA Fisheries (@NOAAFisheries) August 12, 2014
13. Annie Anderson
A self-proclaimed "SHARK LOVING REDHEAD" with an interesting sense of humor: