5 Fun Facts About 'Shark Week'

Audiences love it, activists not so much
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2010 12:01 PM CDT
A Great White Shark is attracted by a lure on the 'Shark Lady Adventure Tour' on October 19, 2009 in Gansbaai, South Africa.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – It’s Shark Week! Time offers a brief history of Discovery Channel’s popular annual event:

  • An oldie but a goodie: It’s been around since 1987, just two years after the channel launched, making it cable’s longest-running event.
  • Average viewers: It’s one of the most popular television events, with more than 20 million tuning in every year since 1995.

  • Famous hosts: Jaws author Peter Benchley hosted in 1994, and since then other celebrities from Heidi Klum to Craig Ferguson (this year's host) have appeared.
  • Not everyone loves it: Some animal activists claim Shark Week (which airs shows with titles like Teeth of Death and Sharkbite Summer) makes sharks out to be more vicious than they actually are.
  • But they’re trying: Some Shark Week shows make a point to give statistics (for instance, there's an average of fewer than 63 attacks on humans per year) or point out how humans are actually endangering sharks.
To learn about 10 places you can swim with sharks, click here. (Read more Shark Week stories.)

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