Discovery Channel's 26th annual Shark Week is upon us, a week of programming featuring nothing but nature's most deadly killing machine. However, all this anti-shark propaganda is beginning to give sharks a bad name. Sure, they mercilessly rip an occasional swimmer apart with their powerful jaws and razor-sharp teeth, but that is just a small minority of the greater shark population. Despite the stereotypes, not all sharks are vicious killers; some, like those listed below, provide entertainment or valuable services to the world at large.
In the 1970s, Hanna-Barbera tried to replicate the success of their showScooby Doo
with various alternatives to the "group of kids and a talking pet solves crimes" formula. In 1976, they premieredJabberjaw
, a show about an underwater rock band with a talking shark for a drummer. Nothing desensitizes children to the dangers of a shark more effectively than seeing one playing the drums, talking like Curly from The Three Stooges, and complaining about getting "no respect."Greg "The Great White Shark" Norman
This Australian native spent a good part of the '80s and '90s ranked as the number one professional golfer in the world. His nickname is a reference to his aggressive golf style, and should in no way be taken to mean that he goes into a killing frenzy at the scent of blood. As of this writing, Mr. Norman has not been implicated in any evisceration that has been made public.Card Sharks
This game show was developed by NBC in 1978, and has been on and off television several times since then, on two separate networks and then again in syndication. Contestants competed for cash and valuable prizes by guessing whether a card would be higher or lower than the previous card. This show didn't have a nautical theme, required no shark cages, and the only danger of blood was a really nasty paper cut from those oversize cards, so it is generally considered to be a letdown by the greater shark community.Sebastian Stark
James Woods played Sebastian Stark inShark
, a short-lived 2006 CBS TV show about a group of hotshot public prosecutors. Sebastian Stark was a high-end defense attorney who became disillusioned with his job and agreed to train a team of district attorneys, although not in maritime law. These guys might be scary if you are a criminal, but even they will probably survive their encounter with this Shark with all of their limbs intact.
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These have the potential to be the scariest creatures on the planet. After all, sharks are already pretty terrifying, and giving them a laser weapon would make them even deadlier. However, like the rabid unicorn or the dinosaur ninja, these nightmare creatures are only theoretical. They were placed on the endangered species list, and are rarely spotted in the wild anymore. If someone as famous as Dr. Evil can't get himself sharks with laser beams on their heads, what chance do you have of finding them?