You can hear it in the creepy songs. Or in the storyteller’s tone. Something negative is mosting likely to occur. On Shark Week, a week of documentary-style programs on cable, dramatic audios usually sign stories of distressing shark strikes.

However such occurrences are uncommon, states Lisa Whitenack. She’s a biologist and also rock hound at Allegheny University in Meadville, Pa. “You are more probable to obtain hit by lightning than to be attacked by a shark,” she states. Even more individuals pass away every year as a result of fireworks crashes than shark strikes. Individuals swimming in the sea remain in sharks’ houses, Whitenack notes. And also as lengthy as sharks aren’t prompted, they typically leave individuals alone.

Whitenack and also various other shark researchers were worried that the terrifying things on Shark Week was misstating sharks. They likewise thought that Shark Week didn’t have much scientific research and also didn’t mirror the variety of shark scientists. She and also her associates laid out to collect data on their hypotheses. “Since that’s what great researchers do,” she states.

Her group enjoyed 201 episodes of Shark Week. For every 40-minute episode, the scientists maintained tabs on which varieties of sharks showed up, that was talking, what they claimed and also much more. The group likewise examined the research study approaches pointed out in the programs.

Shark Week often gave muddled messages, the scientists reported July 22 at the American Elasmobranch Culture Yearly Fulfilling. That conference remained in Phoenix az, Ariz. Over fifty percent of the programs provided both favorable and also adverse messages regarding sharks. And also “in many cases, we saw things that was simply not real or was overstated,” Whitenack states. “That develops concern.” As an example, one episode concentrated on feasible experiences with a prehistoric shark. “The whole episode was fiction,” Whitenack states. However several visitors missed out on a message regarding the program’s presented occasions and also assumed the extinct animal might be active today.

Usually, individuals discussing sharks on these programs weren’t researchers. And also the professionals included were typically white men. That doesn’t precisely stand for the selection of individuals that research sharks, Whitenack notes. Likewise, Shark Week declares to give info regarding safeguarding and also saving sharks. Numerous shark varieties are uncommon and also threatened. However the group discovered that just 6 episodes provided visitors methods to aid sharks. “The messaging requires some job,” Whitenack wraps up.

Similar to researchers, visitors can and also must ask great deals of inquiries. With a little excavating, individuals might have the ability to fact-check what they’ve listened to on TELEVISION. “Don’t take it all at stated value,” Whitenack warns. “Even if it’s on TELEVISION doesn’t indicate it’s true.”

Information Dive:

  1. What is the biggest piece of the pie graph?
  2. Why does it matter that this is the most-cited technique in Shark Week reveals?
  3. The number of pieces on the pie graph connect to making use of pictures or video clips? Include them up. What’s the complete percent?
  4. What type of info regarding pets can scientists receive from pictures and also video clips? What sort of info will they miss out on?
  5. The number of pieces on the pie graph connect to determining pets? What’s their complete percent?
  6. What is the percent of approaches that examine examples — DNA, blood, or belly components?
  7. Which approaches track where pets take a trip? What’s the complete percent?