Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives is a 2014 pseudo-documentary 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 fishing boat and all of its crew off the coast of Cape Town, 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 Discovery Channel, a channel that had been known for actual and credible science shows.
Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives now ranks as the biggest Shark Week show 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." The special received a sequel titled Megalodon: The New Evidence. During Shark Week 2018, Discovery aired Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction, a new special with experts that looks back at the original.
- The Last Dragon, a similar program airing on Animal Planet that attempted to describe dragons in a scientific manner.
- Megalodon Shark - Caught on Camera - Check123, Video Encyclopedia, retrieved 2017-06-16
- 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.
- Yahr, Emily (2018-07-26). "A fake Shark Week documentary about megalodons caused controversy. Why is Discovery bringing it up again?". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
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