It’s Baaaaack! Shark Week returns to the Discovery Channel in just a few days. One of cable TV’s most popular (and sometimes controversial) programming events, Shark Week will once again take a bite out of fin fans viewing habits. When Shark Week originally started way back in 1988, it was devoted to “conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about sharks”. But over time, Discovery started airing more and more overly dramatized fake documentaries or “docufiction”. This programming has been very popular with many viewers but not with the science community and science-lovers who protest the junk science and dubious theories. But whether you love all aspects of Shark Week or pick and choose your Shark programs carefully, Shark Week can be fun, entertaining, and educational. I love Shark Week and if you, like me, just can not get enough fin action then you are in luck because there is lots of great Shark action available FREE in the Public Domain, Here’s just a few of the books, documentaries, wallpaper, and more at the Internet Archive:
DK Eyewitness Shark by Miranda Macquitty
I just love DK books. Filled with lots of facts and fabulous pictures, DK books are a feast for the eye and the mind. Get up close and personal with your favorite sharks with chapters that include “What is a Shark”, “Ancient Sharks”, “The Great White Shark”, “Gentle Giants”, and “Save the Shark!”.
The Shark God by Rafe Martin, illustrated by David Shannon
A wonderful retelling of a Hawaiian legend for children. The story is suspenseful yet sweet and the illustrations are big and vivid and put you right in the story. Great book.
The Pirate Shark by Elliott Whitney
A very dated “boy’s adventure” book about shark fishing. Lots of stereotypes but somewhat interesting look at the times. Published in 1914.
David Gruber: Glow-in-the-Dark Sharks and Other Stunning Sea Creatures
This fun fourteen minute documentary from TED.com features marine biologist and explorer-photographer David Gruber and some of the amazing biofluorescent sea life he has discovered and filmed. Included are glow-in-the-dark seahorses, turtles, and, of course, Swell Sharks.
Thomas Peschak: Dive into an Ocean Photographer’s World
Another great documentary from TED.com, this time just ten minutes long, features Thomas Peschak and his spectacular underwater photos of dolphins, all kinds of fish, and especially sharks.
Science in Action: Sharks: Good and Bad
A twenty-five minute black and white documentary from 1954, this film is just crammed full of all kinds of live fish and everything you could possibly want to know about sharks. Hosted by Dr. Earl S. Herald of the California Academy of Sciences, he is no-nonsense and all business as he shares his love of all things shark.
Sharks with Jean Michel Cousteau; A Thank You Ocean Production Presented by Your Sanctuary TV
A very short little film, only four minutes, but packed with some interesting facts.
NASA SCI Files – Shark Nose and Underwater Smell
A very short segment, less than two minutes, that would have been been better longer, this is aimed at kids in grades 3 – 5 and gives some info on how sharks smell.
World’s Deadliest Shark
From National Geographic Abu Dhabi and unfortunately not in English, this forty-five minute documentary still features some great images of sharks.
Why Sharks Attack
Another forty-five minute documentary from National Geographic Abu Dhabi and also not in English but still more great shark moments.
Tigers vs Sharks: Shark Week at Big Cat Rescue
The Big Cat Rescue films are all great fun for feline lovers. The park staff want the tigers and lions to enjoy Shark Week too and the big kitties have a great time with shark shaped pinatas and chum-sicles. Runs just under three minutes.
Funny Shark Wallpaper
Fun but slightly risque wallpaper to spice up your PC.
Wallpaper from Shark Tale
Lots of wallpaper aimed for children and featuring characters from the 2004 animated comedy Shark Tale starring Will Smith, Jack Black, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie and Renee Zellweger.
She Gods of Shark Reef
To finish out your Public Domain Shark Week here is a really really bad 1958 movie from the legendary Roger Corman: She Gods of Shark Reef. This bare budget black and white film runs just over an hour and features beefcake, cheesecake, and just plain cheese. Two bare chested brothers, one on the run from the police, get shipwrecked on an island of lovely ladies who spend their time pearl fishing and sacrificing virgins to the shark gods. Cheap and silly but hey! It has shark gods.
Don’t forget to tune into Discovery Channel for Shark Week!
Click the links to find your favorite Shark:
DK Eyewitness Shark by Miranda Macquitty