Megalodon was a monstrous shark that lived between 28 and 1.5 million years ago in the Cenozoic era. Scientists estimate that adults were between 46 and 59 feet long. Swedish scientist Louis Agassiz gave the creature its initial scientific name in 1843: Carcharodon megalodon. The word “megalodon,” which means “big tooth,” refers to the fossilized teeth often found in rock formations. Because sharks are composed mostly of cartilage, the teeth and vertebrae are the only remnants of these creatures that have become part of the earth’s fossil record. For millions of years, these terrifying sharks were the dominant predator in the ocean. Scarred whale vertebra indicate that megalodon even had the ability to bite these mammals in half. Not surprisingly, this real-life monster was the basis of a recent move in the Syfy Channel: “Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.”

This past August, the Discovery Channel kicked off its annual “Shark Week” series with a two-hour documentary entitled “Megalodon: The Monster Lives.” The riveting documentary provided convincing scientific evidence that megalodon could still be trolling the oceans for victims. The researchers even provided compelling, albeit somewhat murky, photographs of what they claimed was a real megalodon.

FICTION

This “documentary” was actually a “mockumentary.” According to Discover Magazine, the Discovery faked most of the scientific evidence proving that megalodon still exists. All of the scientists interviewed in the show were actually portrayed by actors. Even a news story depicting a rescued seal being eaten by a shark was fabricated. Millions of fans of “Shark Week” are outraged by the Discovery Channel’s attempt to have a little fun with the documentary format. Actor Will Wheaton, a “Shark Week” fanatic, actually enjoyed the show. In fact, he ranted about it on his weekly blog

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