Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine is a fake documentary

Shark Week has done it again with their Shark of Darkness nonsense.  This show goes after everyone, from the whale watching industry, to shark cage diving, to South Africa as a country, and literally broke my heart to watch.

As always, a brief and vague disclaimer appears after all the credits have rolled.

As always, a brief and vague disclaimer appears during the show.

The fake-u-mentary is supposedly based in Hout Bay, but continually shows a map of Dyer Island and Geyser Rock and refers to Shark Alley that are all in Gansbaai, ~100km to the east.  So why would they say Hout Bay?  If you google “boat capsized in Hout Bay”, you will find that there was a boat which capsized outside of Hout Bay in 2012, killing 2 passengers onboard.  This boat was capsized by heavy swell in the middle of the day and had nothing to do with a shark, let alone a mythical one.  So I can only assume that Discovery Channel chose to include this very real tragedy in order to somehow legitimize their fake-u-mentary.  This is horribly insensitive.

Map showing distance between Hout Bay and Dyer Island.

Map showing distance between Hout Bay and Dyer Island.

The shark Submarine is an urban legend from the 1970’s about a large white shark in False Bay, started by journalists who wanted to see how easy it would be to fool the average newspaper reader.  The Submarine shark then was reportedly “sighted” for years to come and the legend grew longer as the years went on.  Everyone who has worked on white sharks has seen their version of the Submarine, but it does not actually exist.  Think Loch Ness.

I am a Zoologist specialized in behaviour, and have just completed my M.Sc. from the University of Cape Town studying the anti-predator tactics of Cape fur seals in Shark Alley, Geyser Rock, South Africa.  Not once did I meet the researchers Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine features, because they do not exist.  They are actors.  However, Discovery Channel has done a bit of googling and came upon our real great white shark wound healing research.

Prop, recovering from a boat strike.

Prop, recovering from a boat strike.

Prop is a real great white shark that was wounded by a direct hit from a boat’s propeller in Gansbaai, South Africa.  This shark’s injuries were first identified by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust.  Prop’s remarkable 9-month recovery was documented (video) and the results were published in Global Perspective on the Biology and Life History of the White Shark.  Prop has nothing to do with Submarine – neither the real legend or the made up story Discovery Channel produced.  None of the researchers who published Prop’s recovery were contacted by Discovery Channel.  Again, by including this real bit of information, Discovery is trying to legitimize their fake-u-mentary.

Shark of Darkness serves as yet another unsurprising disappointment.  There is so much real shark science occurring that could be featured, why make something up?

michelleMichelle Jewell (Wcisel) is a Zoologist specialized in predator/prey behaivour and the Scientific Communicator for EDNA Interactive.  She has spent the past 4 years studying the behaviour of white sharks and Cape fur seals at Geyser Rock, ‘Shark Alley’, South Africa.  


  1. Austin · August 11, 2014

    I was very interested in the story tonight on discovery and I found no evidence supporting anything they said. Dates, locations, facts, numbers, and so many other things that were said has no info to back it up!! Very disappointing!!!

    • Pymethot · August 12, 2014

      At least it is good to know that there is still professional and credible expert like you to inform us

  2. Sean Laing · August 11, 2014

    A total joke! Shit like wrath of submarine really makes shark week look bad. I grew up watching real, educational, and interesting clips on shark week! This fake drama is really disheartening and shows just how cheezy these producers are and the length’s they’ll go to ratings. It sucks!

  3. jason peterman · August 11, 2014

    I can’t believe Discovery keeps making these fake documentaries!! What are they trying to accomplish by this? It’s such a disservice to their viewers and just bad for their reputation!!

    • Michelle · August 11, 2014

      I agree this is bullshit. Very disappointing. You would think after all the negative feedback that surrounded megladon last year that Disvovery would have caught on and realized they need to stop with the “fake” and focus on the real facts. And yes insensitive is correct. I agree with that viewer as well.

  4. Charlsie norton · August 11, 2014

    I can say this is my first utter disappointment in Discovery Shark Week…..I cannot believe they would taint their reputation in this matter. This is sad….and I’m PISSED.

    • Christine F. · August 11, 2014

      I agree! I plan to study sharks once I complete my degree and it’s shows like this that will make my job more difficult. I’ve loved how Shark Week has allowed people to realize that sharks aren’t mindless killing machines or calculating murderers and this film is basically negating all of that. I want to protect sharks and these kinds of shows just make people want to kill them. Disgraceful!

    • Jim B · September 5, 2014

      You mean to tell me that all that filming was fake? The people interviewed, the victims, all that was fake? I had been channel surfing and came upon it and I did say to myself, “Wow! Why didn’t I ever hear of this” because Im a big CNN guy, well that little caption I saw but I thought it was just some small things, my wife even stayed up extra late and has to struggle now all day at work. They got me, and they got me good. Jim B

  5. Jay · August 11, 2014

    Blair Witch Project of shark attacks.

  6. San Diego · August 11, 2014

    While watching this clip i was researching trying to find something , anything to support what i was watching…FAIL I’m so disappointed that Discovery would go this far, I look forward to shark week/ Fest every year in hopes of new footage since the last 2-3 years was a repeat of the last…let me just say I’M DONE discovery this is so distasteful to create this especially since a real tragedy happened with the sinking of JOY RIDE and two human beings lost their life.

    • San Diego · August 11, 2014

      Also you had me until you said that submarine stopped and waited for the right time, and pushed the man further out to sea to separate him from the others, thats actually laughable , Orca’s Yes ,Great White ….NOT !! Unbelievable discovery !

  7. Dutch · August 11, 2014

    I just noticed that the “video” evidence of the cunning behavior of Submarine they showed is actually filmed in the Gulf of Mexico. It is Deepwater Horizon video from Mississippi Canyon block 252. You can see the location stamp from Canyon Offshore that operated the ROV’s that shot the video. This is sad that such fake footage is used to gin up fear of these creatures.

  8. John · August 11, 2014

    Terribly disappointing but expected…..which is the worst part.

  9. Christine F. · August 11, 2014

    I look forward to Shark Week all year and this just ticks me off. I want to be a marine biologist and study sharks and it’s shows that were made in the same vein as this that helped inspire me. To think of some kid watching this and taking it in as fact annoys me to no end. It’s like a bad (bad being a relative term) SyFy movie without the actual entertaining bits. Sharks aren’t calculating murderers! When did Discovery stop trying to educate and just propagate lies?

  10. Andrew · August 11, 2014

    Thanks for posting this. I almost fell for it. With the somewhat obvious visual effects I doubted it. Not to mention the reality TV acting of the “pros.” Why would so many people self document anyways?! But it really took the cake when they said it was possible that submarine WATCHED killer whales and learned from them. Lmao.

    • Michelle · August 11, 2014

      Yes! I too was lmao when they actually said submarine watched the killer whales and learned from them….what?? That about did it for me! Whoever came up with that made up line of bull and felt it was viewer worthy should have known millions are going to realize he/she has no clue…..NONE!!

  11. Jason · August 11, 2014

    Wow. Really. Again. I missed the first run because I was watching Last Ship and The Strain. Both are way more believable than Submarine. I thought after last year they wouldn’t do this. What will it take? I love learning more about these creatures I have a healthy respect for and this just sucks!

  12. Rick · August 11, 2014

    This is the most PATHETIC attempt to boost their horrible ratings. I understand the channel’s desperation, wouldn’t any show be scrambling and desperate when they keep having to show the same footage year after year. I can honestly say, just like Fonzie, they have really
    ” Jumped The Shark.” Time to give it up!!!

  13. Andrew · August 11, 2014

    Shark week… aka ancient aliens. If sharks were aliens. Shit, that’ll be next.

  14. jen · August 11, 2014

    To think I taped it so me and my daughter could watch…because we both find learning about sharks cool…but really pushing the guy out to sea that is just plain laughable and the sad part it their are people gullable enough to believe that shit.very disappointed

  15. ryan · August 11, 2014

    There is some truth to base the story on. Compared to other parts of the world, the great white sharks in South Africa are quite aggressive, so I guess it is somewhat believable that the actions of the shark are plausible. I don’t necessarily believe that people are the target prey though, as we are foreign to the sharks natural habitat. I always liked watching shark week, and if this story is a big hoax, then I guess discovery has some apologizing to do.

    • Robin S. · August 11, 2014

      It had me fooled at the beginning until they showed the shark on camera, you can see it’s completely cgi. To say that it plans it’s tactics to attack it’s prey is so advanced and so well played…well you might as well just say it was one of the sharks from the movie Deep Blue Sea. Even samuel jackson would say it was complete bullshit. So much for watching shark week. I am greatly disappointed just like a lot of other shark week fans.

  16. alex · August 11, 2014

    I believe this is the story that was dramatacized…not the insensative one you suggested

    • cubbiebeer1101 · August 11, 2014

      Yes that is exactly the story they copied. I believe that was an early report though because I’ve seen articles about the Miroshga that say 4 people lost their lives. But even if it was 1, how can u say using this story to make a fake documentary just so people will see that their was a boat that went down if they try to check isn’t extremely insensitive to the actual survivors and their loved ones.

  17. Jerry Day · August 11, 2014

    Really disappointed in Discovery channel. I used to like watching Shark Week. Why make up a bunch of lies? Ratings? I’m done.

  18. chad · August 11, 2014

    This is absolutely disappointing…there should be no shark week if it continues like this. Two horribly fake stories back to back now in as many years. #donewatching

  19. Rey · August 11, 2014

    Believability went downhill after boat capsized. Why did camera pan away and then back when lady and flotation device got pulled under? Shark “pushing” man out to sea? Rescuer’s dive to capsized boat seemed well lit outside boat and had numerous camera angles as if “staged.”

  20. Kai · August 11, 2014

    I am so pissed. I can’t believe I jus wasted two hours of my life. Thanks “Discovery.”

  21. Larry Sullivan · August 11, 2014

    I kept looking for a disclaimer, and apparently I missed it, but when they started talking about the shark “Hovering” and studying people while forcing water through its gills without moving, I knew this was straight bull@hit. … It’s sad that The Discovery Channel would put money into a venture which is counterproductice to protecting these great animals.

  22. frederick · August 11, 2014

    OMG! I thought it was real. Think Blair Witch all over again. The seemingly endless chit chat before the show almost made me give up on “Shark week”, then their seemed a glimmer of hope with Submarine. Now, I find out its all fake. I refuse to watch anymore of it. Bad enough theses sharkumentaries are all human attack centric. Now, they are also fake? Only good great white documentary I know of was done by PBS Nature series. It was titled “Red Triangle”. Wish they made more like that one.

  23. Adrienne G · August 11, 2014

    Well damn. I’m not gonna lie. I read all of your comments and I was def The gullible one over here. Totally thought it was real. It stopping in the water with the little boy attack and the digital images from above looking down- had me played for a FOOL NOW! I grew up with Shark Week and if this is going to start being fake their stories and documentaries—- well then Discovery has some serious apologizing to do to the public.
    Cuz that’s just messed up.
    I know some parts did look fake and i know it even said some parts were dramatized…. But I believed it was real. 100%.
    I feel so stupid now. :/

    • alisha · August 11, 2014

      You and me both. I totally thought it was real and it scared me to death. Now I am just mad and feel stupid.

    • Tina · August 11, 2014

      I felt the same way last year when they showed the fake Megalodon documentary!!! Watched it, was totally amazed n scared shitless only to find out it was fake!!!!! I felt like a fool! Then last night I was fooled again until they showed the clip of submarine hovering near the oil rig and the light bulb came on! That’s when I started searching and was furious discovery channel would do another fake show after all the criticism from last year!! I’ve loved shark week for over 20yrs and they’re losing all credibility!

    • shelly · August 11, 2014

      I’m right there with ya! I won’t lie I totally bought that crap too. I did think for a minute that the shark pushing the guy out to sea was werid but I believed it, I mean after all it’s the Discovery channel, they aren’t suppose to lie. I feel robbed! And now that I read all these comments, I think back to that episode last night and wonder how stupid was I to believe that crap. Ugh! I love Shark Week but I don’t want to be lied to, that isn’t right. And then to take a real actual boating accident where real people lost their lives and make up some shity shark story, that goes above and beyond all inconsiderate things!

    • teresa · August 22, 2014

      With Submarine, two others on megalodon and at least one other I’m pretty sure was at least partially bs, I’m disappointed and disgusted with Discovery. We watch shark week for facts not fiction. If we weren’t interested in the truth about sharks we wouldn’t watch shark week. No idea why they don’t get that. I was ready to believe it because I thought I could trust them. Very sad. 🙁

  24. Cynthia · August 11, 2014

    My first clue it was a fake documentary was the Emma footage – the shark supposedly dragged the floating device along with Emma? That floating device was huge. THEN they could not rescue the man who was being pushed by the shark’s snout further out to open sea? Really? They couldn’t rescue that man? The reality is it is human nature to try at almost any cost to rescue another human being. And yes, the shark pushing the victim? Really? By snout? Lol. Nah – it is shark’s nature to just chomp! Then these 3 victims – survived on an air pocket in the shipwreck undersea after 4 hours under water? And the shark just knew they were inside the boat?? Please. And these four, along with the rescuer, survived 30 feet swim to the cage and managed to get out of the cage whose pulley got broken? Too cliff-hanger- ey, too movie-like, not documentary. The shark opening its mouth and ramming the cage? The reality is at least one of these four would have been attacked during the swim from the shipwreck to the cage. Another clue is that other sharks that were in the shipwreck area at the beginning suddenly disappeared – because they knew Submarine was coming?? Right.

    I still enjoyed it because it was like watching a movie. But Discovery Channel is supposed to be about education, facts, documentary. Now they are going for pure entertainment, to compete with other channels for viewerships! For ratings. They need to stop competing and stay true to science and education. Discovery Channel – please change back.

    • Sean · August 11, 2014

      Complete nonsense, discredits every other show they air. Since when is Discovery into SciFi, this was just as stupid as that Mermaid crap they did a couple years ago. They should start a new network for fictional shows if they want to keep producing this garbage, don’t they understand their viewers watch their shows for FACTUAL entertaimnent.

  25. Izzy · August 11, 2014

    I’m so glad to find out it was fake my mother nearly had a heart attack while she watched it! She really thought those two people died she felt so terrible for them each time they showed the lady on the air device and the man with the ice chest. It only for sure made her never want to get back in the water. That ruined our chances of a cruise! So they goes our cruise for next year I can’t convince her it’s fake! Maybe those actors should contact her and tell them their ok lol.

  26. GEORGE TURNER · August 11, 2014

    Was this produced in Colorado? What ever the writers were smoking I would like some !

    • Beth · August 11, 2014

      Best. Comment. EVER!

  27. Max · August 11, 2014

    Im shocked….. What a pile of crap. I cant believe what i just watched

    Sharks dont omg where do i begin… Learn from whales, stop and wait… Push people out to sea…. None of this crap. I wanted to be a marine biologist sooo badly when i was younger, i studied and studied, this make me sicks. To think that these animals will be hunted and killed until they are gone… Sick

    The reprodutive rate of sharks wont recover from crap like this if people buy in to this.

    Lets say for giggles that there is a shark out there this size, it would waist its time eating people, its food supply would be massive!!! Whales that we track would be gone left and right, not to mention larger prey. And the all the “video” footage? Omg did everyone take water proof cameras? Those would have died on water contact. And if a shark that size would have really hit the cage!?! The cage and everyone in would have have been blow apart due to the amount of energy that animals impact would have not to mention zodiac that was holding it. Ohh and let us not forget the brave men pulling the steel line with no gloves to bring the cage with 4 grown wet adults (one with gear) up. Looks like some one ate their wheaties.

    Ok rant done. Im sorry but i have much respect for sharks and all things of the ocean to see such an amazing animal dis respected this way


  28. Elasmophile · August 11, 2014

    As a student of elasmobranchs since my work with Dr. Thomas Thorson (look him up, he’s authentic and proved how Carcharinus leucas osmoregulates between salt and fresh water) this show made me sick. What has this Discovery channel become? “Discover the fake” channel? A better name would be the “Mythology Channel..” In actual science taking bits and pieces of factual information and crafting them into a knowingly false story is EXTREMELY disdained. People who do this are historically regarded as charlatans. While I like the concept of “shark week” as a legitimate means of annually examining the state of the world regarding these ancient and magnificent creatures, the Discovery channel has faked its way into profound scientific disrespect now and should no longer be considered a reputable source of scientifically valid information regarding sharks and perhaps other subjects as well.

    • John · August 11, 2014

      The sonar is what got me. They never saw him because he was still and vertical right? He would have had to swim into the sonars view first before he stopped and turned vertical. Yet nobody saw him on the way in? Insults my intelligence.

  29. Paul Freeman · August 11, 2014

    Michelle, I don’t think my comments took the first time, so posting again. I’m surprised there is not more outrage amongst your colleagues at how The Discovery Channel seems to be more frequently turning into a tabloid journalism show at the expense of sound scientific study. I have no problem with occasional flights of fancy, but Discovery is heading down the path of MTV, which itself over time became less and less about music and faded into irrelevance. This is the second time I’ve blindly tuned into something seemingly interesting on Discovery only to find that scientific facts are distorted or outright fabricated in the name of entertainment. The first time was a “special” about the Megalodon. This is entertainment, not science. If I want this kind of entertainment, I’ll stick to watching “Sharknado” on ScyFy. At least they don’t try to label the cheesy stuff they’re putting out as science.

  30. michael israel · August 11, 2014

    Also if you watch closely when they show submarine by the oil rig its tail fin is horizontal just like the tail fin of a whale.

  31. Kendall · August 11, 2014

    I watched this show believing that what I was watching actually happened. After all, this is the Discovery Channel not one of the major networks and their “reality” shows, right? It never ceases to amaze to what levels we will drop just to attract viewers.

  32. Gail · August 11, 2014

    I agree a total fake. They really had me fooled. Don’t they realize that u can check facts. On the internet. Did not seem right that they filmed this while people were supposedly dying. I am glad it was not true.

    • soy la verdad · August 11, 2014

      same here, i was all into it crunching on my doritos and gulping down my ginger ale. got really hooked when i did find one video on youtube about the boat sinking. then, i started to do more research and nothing was coming up. then i thought, this is too much like blair witch and why would families give permission of their family members being devoured by a shark to be shown on t.v.? very, very disappointed.

  33. alisha · August 11, 2014

    Wow this is my first time ever watching shark week, and I was really excited while watching the show. That was until I tried to do some research on it this morning. I am really disappointed that one of my favorite channels would put stupid shows like this on. I want to see real facts and videos of sharks. Not this crap. Very very disappointed Discovery!

  34. This was like a documentary on Jaws. The mechanical shark that was a blockbuster. I’m surprised they didn’t interview the shark to get his side of the story.

    • Rachel · August 13, 2014

      “I’m surprised they didn’t interview the shark to get his side of the story.” — dying!!!!!!

  35. Victoria · August 11, 2014

    I really wish Discovery channel would stop putting out these mockumentaries. Very disappointing. I like how they say “events have been dramatized” which apparently is a sneaky way of saying “completely made up”. Boo hiss Discovery. You’re ruining Shark Week.

  36. Sandy · August 11, 2014

    As soon as we started watching it last night, I told my boyfriend Donny… “Yup, looks like they did it again!! We Love Shark~Week, & would like to watch REAL Stories About REAL Sharks!!

  37. Gene Borish · August 11, 2014

    What I discovered on Discovery was similar to The War of the Worlds fake radio broadcast by Orson Welles. At least that broadcast had a disclaimer at the beginning. I always thought that Discovery channel was a legitimate educational channel. I guess not.

    • soy la verdad · August 11, 2014

      dolphins are the intelligent ones. about 2 years ago, in november, i was fishing for red fish in a saltwater creek just a few feet deep(maybe just above my knee) in my kayak. i heard water break behind me, when i looked, i saw two fins zooming my direction i just knew i was done for because jaws and his buddy were coming at me. it turned out to be two dolphins hunting the same fish i was after, it was an AWESOME sight. i went home right after that amazed but scared, i had sucked up my seat cushion. about 10 years earlier, i did see a shark feeding frenzy on the beach on the other side, also an awesome amazing site but….not as organized as the dolphins.

  38. Tighe · August 11, 2014

    To be honest, the first thing I did this morning after watching “Shark of Darkness” was to see if the account was true or false.
    Glad to see it was false because the show was disturbing to me. I can’t imagine a Great White shark having intelligence on the level that “Submarine” did.

    Like most commenters, I have always enjoyed Shark Week on Discovery Channel. I was into sharks of all kinds since I was a child.
    I have to admit between “Megladon” last year and now this…..c’mon this is the Discovery Channel, NOT tSci-Fy channel.

  39. marcus · August 11, 2014

    Is it bad if i actually believed this when watching it? I have always found the possible existence of ‘creatures’ and alien sightings to be cool even though Im 20. When i was watching there were a couple things that rang alarm bells in my mind that it might be fake. The biggest one was when submarine lept out of the water and grabbed that guy. Also it was weird how EVERYONE on the boat seemed to be prepared with a camcorder and compelled to film themselves and everyone else in b-style horror movie fashion before takeoff (almost like they were introducing a cast) also they just watched the shark lead the one guy out to sea and kill him. And would they really show real people dying on tv? I doubt it.

    The whole program was a fear mongering production. Its odd since shark week seems so adament about peotecting sharks but so quick to fuel peoples fear and mistrust of them by showing countless shark attack survivor stories and creating fake shows about an unstoppable super shark hungry for humans

    Thanks for the info.

  40. Sue · August 11, 2014

    OMG!!! Fake!!! I was glued to my television and I kept running in the other room to tell my husband what was going on because he was watching a golf tournament. How STUPID am I????? I kept thinking “Why have we not seen any of this reported on our world news?” And now to find out it was all fake……what a waste of time!!! I will never watch another program from discovery with such gulliability……fool me once shame on you….fool me twice same on me.

    • Jenn Salcedo · August 27, 2014

      I said the same thing to my Dad, why wasn’t this a big news story?? But I also kept saying, these people seem like actors. Very disappointing Discovery!

  41. Latifah · August 11, 2014

    Thank you!!! Its Megalodon all over again

  42. Jim · August 11, 2014

    A very valid point by Michelle here. I sent a complaint to Discovery last year after that horrible Megaladon show and it’s obvious they didn’t care. There has been such a huge increase in shark research over the years you would think they wouldn’t feel a need to waste their time doing something like this! It’s a shame that an educational program has turned to this. For the second year in a row I have had to explain to my 9 year old son that a Discovery show is fake, disappointing to say the least. Guess I’m going to change my channel to NatGeo and watch SharkFest instead.

  43. Paul Watkins · August 11, 2014

    Thank you for that detailed explanation. I was looking forward to watching the documentary but based on your very factual report I will now not be watching. Appreciate you taking the time to put this out there.

  44. Stephen · August 11, 2014

    Amen to all of that. Thanks for doing real science, and maybe the U.S.’s hideous appetite for sensationalist media will subside someday….

  45. Cody banks · August 11, 2014

    As soon as they mention the joyride I looked it up within the first 30 seconds of the show last night I could not find anything to support their claims 25 minutes into the show I looked it up again all of a sudden there was floods of information but from the discovery channel no news channels. The same thing happened to me last year during the megaLeDon special about the boat in Hout Bay that was rammed from underneath by a giant shark they chose to believe as megaLeDon within the first few seconds few minutes maybe of the show I looked it up on the Internet there was nothing about it no newsclips no nothing a few hours later there were tons of sites dedicated to this sink. But anyways the show did exactly what they wanted it to it got the ratings they got the viewers that’s all it was ever meant to do whether we like it or not they already got the ratings that’s all that counts

  46. Mort · August 11, 2014

    What else can be said? These comments say it all as does this article. The megalodon documentary (Shark Week jumped the shark) stopped me last year during shark week. I went on to better activities. Watching this stopped me again. If I want to learn about sharks, I’ll have to do it my self and not rely on Discovery to provide me information and sources. Even my sons no longer watch this.
    As Michelle stated, there is so much shark science out there. I want to learn about that and not some made for tely movie.

  47. Barbara @ · August 11, 2014

    Thank God I found this article. Both my boyfriend and I are guilty of believing this disgusting show. We had our doubts, but being Discovery we assumed the researchers were learning about the way sharks are evolving. What a disgusting joke. I couldn’t sleep last night hearing the cries of the man who was being pushed out to sea by a 35 foot great white shark that was too hungry to eat him so was saving him for a midnight snack. I could just scream. I am so angry that Discovery thinks that fooling viewers like this is worthy television. I won’t be watching any more and I hope that Discovery gets the bashing they deserve!!!

  48. Kyle · August 11, 2014

    The under water footage is from the deep water horizon oil disaster. They could at least use footage people haven’t heard of. It clearly shows mc252 which stands for the Mississippi canyon block if rigs off the coast of louisiana.

  49. Bob · August 11, 2014

    I am done watching Discovery channel. With the mermaid junk, the megalodon farce and now this. I came in part way through the show and thought it was real for about 20 minutes, but not anymore. (Something about it taking hours for a rescue ship to pull a few people from the water was the first clue, then the shark misinformation.) There is a real problem with the destruction of sharks by fear, fishing or for their fins by people in Asia. Discovery channel no longer has any credibility and I will not be watching it anymore. Great job Discovery channel execs. I am sure that someone was promoted because of short term ratings increases, but the long term damage to your name brand will sink you.

  50. Kat · August 11, 2014

    Won”t watch Discovery ever again. Really fed up with fakes!!!!!!! The world is going to hell and you people think this is Cute!!!!

  51. Jeff · August 11, 2014

    I have to agree with everybody else. I too am VERY DISAPPOINTED. I would of expected this from other channels and quite honestly, now looking back, Megalodon last year I never thought was “real”. I didn’t really think Discovery channel was trying to make it be real, just a recap of “what might have been thousands of years ago”. Guess others thought that it was real and possibly alive today…maybe like big foot or the lockness monster. I dunno. Never saw it, have no proof etc. The mermaids thing the year before…yeah pretty much the same thing, I never really bought into it. Ok now onto this year…I will say that with the Submarine show last night, it had me going at first. Right up to the part where the shark killed that woman and took down the big blue floatation device. After that things just started getting weird. The shark can float vertically and stay there like a harrier? hmmm. Purposely do this to avoid our sonar? again…hmmmmmm…mmmmhhh. Push the guy out to deeper sea for a snack later on just because he is full and will eat again in 15 minutes? hmmmmm. All not very believable but when your wrapped up in it…you think…well? maybe?? Then you see the shark footage of it attacking and eating the guy whole. Ok nope….its FAKED!!! That’s when it hit and I was like…yeah…been duped. All I can say is, I honestly deep down in my heart know that with the amount of money they spent to create this mockery, I could of in the year’s time they had, made a much better and based upon true story shark feature. Sure you would have to “dramatize scenes” because it is very doubtful you would have enough actual footage for a full length hour or two feature, but this happens all the time. There have been plenty of shark attacks near Africa and Australia. This feature on Submarine or any shark for that matter should be based on the facts and if any ACTUAL footage exists, have that be included. If it needs a little embellishment to be added in to make it exciting, state it up front! Don’t lie! Right before you show that part, just have someone say…”the following may be something like what we think may have happened but please keep in mind this is just our opinion”. We can make very exciting features with awesome footage of real sharks with a little dramatization but don’t need to make fake-you-mockeries. I hate it enough when these stupid Satirical (AKA FAKE!) internet sites “report the truth”. Why does Discovery Channel need to go there too? Come on guys…if you need a director to handle keeping it together for next years Shark Week give me a call or write me an email. Oh yeah….the whole After Hours Shark thingy….excellent idea but badly done. Your host…can him…get somebody better. Talk about interesting and real stuff. Sure have some fluff added in but keep it somewhat rational ok? I mean seriously the dude last night…The human shark that will eat anything? REALLY? That’s honestly the best you could come up with? You need someone better who will honestly put their heart and soul into earning their pay and making Shark Week all it can be. Whoever is in charge now…well I have voiced my opinion…you get it. Time to bring Shark Week back to being something the viewers wait for, for an entire year and not a joke to us or the sharks.

    • erik · August 11, 2014

      The shark submarine e never exhibited a heat signature yet the three caged survivors and the diver and the boat all did…what bullshit. I guess the television watching world is considered more stupid than I thought.

  52. KJ · August 11, 2014

    I’m disappointed!!!! 🙁 they had me fooled for a minute

  53. Willy the Q · August 11, 2014

    Shark Week just disappeared from my scope of interest… shame, as I really enjoyed it’s ideology.

  54. Maggie · August 11, 2014

    I am so disappointed in the Discovery channel for giving viewers false information. I will now question all that they do! Shame on you!!!

  55. ben · August 11, 2014

    If Discovery wants people to believe their shows they really shouldnt use actors that have been in several movies. Like the guy Boyd Roe I mean(mark elderkin). Who is in the movie Dark Tide with Halle Berry. And a few other movies. DISCOVERY show real sharks docs.

  56. Paul · August 11, 2014

    I so pissed right now. They put all this bogus crap on shark week and advertise it like its real. Very disappointed

  57. Moises · August 11, 2014

    And you guys didn’t see the report on the Sharknado in the middle of Nevada, that’s their next documentary!!!


  58. Adam · August 11, 2014

    I found it hilarious that they were showing “live tweets” during the show and ,of course, they were all positive… Couldn’t help but notice there weren’t a whole lot of them, though…I don’t understand why Discovery doesn’t realize that they are completely alienating REAL shark week fans by showing this garbage

  59. Nida · August 11, 2014

    I love shark week. I never miss it. HOWEVER, In The Past Few Years its become apparent that it’s not as truthful and informational as it used to be. I think that since shark and human interaction is so rare, DC is often lacking in material for shark week, they “dramatize” or even make up events.
    This is day 2 and I’ve watched one show. It’s disappointing.

  60. Kristen · August 11, 2014

    It’s really upsetting that a network like discovery, that has been regarded as being a reliable source for factual information and being at the forefront of bringing new discoveries and rarely seen life forms and events to anyone with cable tv, would now being lowering themselves to fake documentaries that have no basis in fact or scientific information. You would think that after 26 years of doing shark week, they would realize that people are genuinely interested in learning about sharks. Besides, it seems like so many programs they have aired in the past have focused on changing people’s perception of sharks from viewing them in a negative ( mindless man eating machine) way, and working towards goals of conservation and cohabitation with sharks. Why would they air fake shows that portray exactly the opposite. I get the entertainment factor, it just seems that it goes against everything discovery channel is supposed to stand for.

  61. yakker · August 11, 2014

    Pitiful sad and irresponsible. The harm this one show will do to shark populations is saddening.

    • jh · August 11, 2014

      I remember when Discovery was an educational channel. After finding out this program was fak, I can’t let my children watch this garbage any more.

    • Jane · August 11, 2014

      Pure exploitation and complete exaggeration of a magnificent creature, the great white shark. TLC is no longer a legit channel in my mind. What a shame.

  62. Brad · August 11, 2014

    Just complete bullshit. I don’t want to watch fake crap during sharkweek. There is so much more out there to air. Megaladon plus mermaids, why even show anything real? I am so disappointed. Discovery should be ashamed. I can’t watch, nor will make it a point to watch anymore. Discovery you suck!

  63. Sam · August 11, 2014

    Ms. Wcisel, thank you for your article on this ridiculous show. I started watching it but quickly figured out it was another Megladon type show. What is wrong with discovery and animal planet too, are they both run by the same morons? One is named for animals and shows no animal shows any longer and the discovery channel shows this garbage. I have a feeling that they are going to be making a sad discovery soon. That they have no more viewers. Their next show can be called Cancelled, Wrath of the Viewers.

  64. Kevin · August 11, 2014

    I have filmed great white sharks off California for many years. I never have seen a shark larger than 20 feet.
    Submarine shark ranks up there with Spinal Tap, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind as Fakeumentry films. I laughed the whole time.

  65. Margaret · August 11, 2014

    I was very upset after watching this show. I couldn’t understand why anyone family would allow this documatry to keep repaying there attack ! Now I know it’s because it was fake . Very disappointied in shark week . Also thought last year megladon was real too . I’m done with shark week 🙁

  66. Jessica Regan · August 11, 2014

    Unbelievable. If we wanted to watch a movie, we would have. We started questioning it when EVERYONE was good looking lol. I had just been saying how the jaws outlook is no longer, and people are now curious and excited about sharks. I am so disappointed in the discovery channel.

  67. Andrew · August 11, 2014

    if I want to see some fake shark garbage I watch sharknado I mean seriously I’ve been watching Shark Week since I was a little kid now I have to explain the my little kids that this is fakeDiscovery Channel has really disappointed me again thank goodness for DVR I didn’t waste two hours of my time

  68. Harry · August 12, 2014

    First of all, Michelle, Thank You for telling us The Truth.
    Second: Discovery Channel-You make me sick.

  69. Michael Heffernan · August 12, 2014

    Truth be told, I was more disappointed that the production team behind this mockumentary didn’t really swing for the fences and give us a scene where Submarine explodes out of the water, victim (and a large, industrial-grade buoy) in mouth, as Newton’s 1st law of motion demands. Instead we got a viewing experience wherein a giant shark has, in addition to its many other newly acquired (and impressive) array of skillsets and tradecraft, developed a reverse gear which allows him to forgo with all of the messiness which a universal law of general applicability entails.

    Also, way to be commitmentphobic Discovery Channel, last year Submarine was a relic Megaladon, and now he’s been downgraded to just a fucking huge Great White. What gives? Did you guys forget to hire a script supervisor?

  70. Connie kehoe · August 12, 2014

    Sad very sad. I was so pissed I shut it off. Like there’s not enough BS in our world, let’s stick to the truth. Thanks for the disappointment Discovery!

  71. Marcia · August 12, 2014

    I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the MOVIE. I even enjoyed megladon last year. I only wish they had tagged them as movies instead of trying to fool people, especially when using lines like humans are Submarine’s favorite food. I thought the point of Shark Week was to dispell these myths. I miss what the Discovery channel used to be. Bring back the true scientific education programming that I so loved instead of naked people, motorcycles, and fake sharks, especially when real ones are so fascinating. I love Shark Week, but let’s keep it real from now on, and if you want to show a movie, say its a MOVIE!

  72. Jackie dewees · August 12, 2014

    Discovery you are losing respect and the trust of your viewers! My son and I have been watching shark week for 25 years..please don’t end a family tradition!

  73. eward Barsh · August 12, 2014

    Wow….I was flipping through channels when I began watching. They really had me sold on it cause of two reasons:
    1) Its Discovery channel…I never
    thought they would fake a
    2) The Coast Guard was involved
    And testifying to it.

    To be perfectly honest
    …I believe nothing else Descovery Can ell says now… they have discredited themselves…their Producers should be fired…and me personally…. I’m boycotting that channel. I’ll stick with the History channel for now on.
    Three cheers for the History Channel……….

  74. Fenix Rezegera · August 12, 2014

    Very true indeed, when I watched the documentary, and as I saw the supposed “submarine” I knew it was fake, it looked as though it was made by computer graphics and animations.

  75. Elasmophile · August 12, 2014

    Scientists beware! The Discovery Channel will use you to put forward their fake stories for ratings. Consider the picture that these two recent reports show and when asked to participate in anything associated with this channel. Since they repeatedly do this without apology and clear intent to deceive the public which it considers ignorant to facts, all these people from the network execs to the producers on down don’t deserve any scientific respect, time or consideration..

  76. Katherine Miller · August 12, 2014

    I thought this channel was a learning center. But, now I feel like a fool for believing in it. Last year it was megladon, this year more crap. I won’t watch shark week again and how do I trust the rest of your material?

  77. sasha · August 12, 2014

    Why should I trust anything else produced by Discovery Channel now? It’s disappointing to lose trust in a somewhat reputable source (unless ive been made a fool of all this time)

    • Debbie Wolfe Webster · August 13, 2014

      So much for discovery,makes you want to change the channel or better yet, turn it off and go experience the real world. Lession ? There’s nothing new under the sun. (JACK OFF’S)

  78. Steve Sullivan · August 14, 2014

    I agree with everything you’ve said. This nonsense should be clearly labeled by Discovery as fiction. They’re not doing sharks or science any favors by perpetuating myths. Though there is one thing I don’t agree with that you said… I’m sure you meant your heart figuratively broke, as if it had literally broken, you wouldn’t be here to write this. (And I’m glad you are.)

    • Andrew David Thaler · August 14, 2014

      You are incorrect. Literally is perfectly appropriate as a synonym for figuratively when used idiomatically. Language is a living thing.

      Edit to add: we have received several pedantic comments regarding the use of literally in this piece. The above will be the only one posted.

  79. Andreas J. · August 17, 2014

    Just saw the doc. Usually very critic to what looks fake..but “Shark of darkness” looks incredibly real and truthful..thx so much then for such a professional scientist to add some facts..thank u Michelle..especially for the revealing of the distance between the 2 locations mentioned in the programme…
    Andreas from Sweden…

  80. Chauncey · August 17, 2014

    It was obvious rather quickly that discovery had once again fed us another ridiculous B.S. Story.
    Like the Megladon B.S. and the phony laughable Mermaid story last year Discovery has once again proven itself to be fraudulant and has lowerd its standards of providing fact based real life documentaries. What a shame and a waste of time.

  81. Kevin · August 18, 2014

    I thought shark week and discovery channel were meant to be informative??? I love most of shark week and even the shows which talk about REAL shark attacks. I think the 2 shows Megalodon and submarine are a joke. Although it is pretty obvious these shows are fake, it isn’t hard to see that their ACTUAL footage contains digital sharks, this kind of stuff is irresponsible and is only meant to cause fear.

  82. Will · August 18, 2014

    What an complete and utter disappointment. What the hell are DC thinking about airing a piece crap like this. It’s so easy to do a quick search on the net these days, they have to know that something like this will be exposed as a hoax. Spreading milk or cream in the water, please. Two men pulling a shark cage with four people with their bare hands! Even a quick search on the net was showing no shark victim “Craig Sheperd” in 2007!
    Shame on you DC!

  83. Kari · August 19, 2014

    I think Discovery Channel is reaching their lowest point in history. There are so many people watching this and thinking that this is true. The’re ruining the shark’s reputation. Nice way to collect you’re money Discovery, making people believe that this is true just for viewer ratings!!! While some people are terrified of entering the water just because they believe what they see… Disappointing!!! You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop making fake-u-mentaries!! And how about the families of those victims of that boat that capsized? How do you think they would feel with this mockery?? Way to go on p***ing the whole wold off.
    K signing off from Belgium.

  84. Candace · August 20, 2014

    I really don’t understand the appeal of the mockumentaries. There was the megalodon one, the mermaid one, both of the “follow ups” to those, and this submarine one. What is the point? The irritating thing is that they present these farces as “controversial”. They’re not controversial any more than the existence of unicorns and the tooth fairy is controversial. (Maybe those will be the next ones they make.) These vague (and quickly flashed) statements intentionally deceive people who are willing to believe whatever they see on Discovery. There are so many people who really believe that these shows and concepts are legitimate and that saddens me. Discovery Channel used to educate people with legitimate programming and shark week was once my favorite week of the year but it’s become a complete farce and contribute to the miseducation of the gullible.

  85. Brittney Schafer · August 20, 2014

    I have quite become fascinated with sharks and once considered wanting to study them. This was a huge disappointment for me, as I really want real documentaries with true facts. Stuff like where Jeremy Wade caught a Greenland shark is much better than this. Plus, little is known about Greenland sharks, and discovery should spend more time on documenting stuff like that than making up things to lead people astray. Especially the young audiences. This false documenting needs to stop.

  86. Mary Bayless · August 20, 2014

    Man! I love Animal Planet & Discovery, but am very disappointed that these networks are hoping gullible people like me will believe. I feel a bit betrayed. Shame on you Discovery!!

  87. BrySkye · August 20, 2014

    @john Not just that, but the ‘sonar footage’ (pfft) clearly shows the shark swimming away afterwards.
    …What, they didn’t notice that earlier, before going through that old footage from the rigs?

    Urgh, just so many things that make no sense.
    Like, if that incident really did happen in 1996, no body thought to check the oil rig surveillance footage before now?
    How this supposed horrific set of shark attacks happened earlier in this year, yet not a single media outlet reported on them as if shark attacks are never massively huge sensationalist news?

    It gets worse though.
    Discovery started sowing the seeds of this before Shark Week even started.
    3 weeks before the premier, they created actual youtube accounts for both “Paula 84” and “Mel Thurmond”.
    The Paula 84 account ( actually uploaded the shark attack footage in the show, weeks before Shark Week began.
    Which was subsequently ‘found’ by Mel Thurmond who comments about wanting to know more about the footage and he’s been doing shark research in ‘that area’.
    …Not that the video, nor it’s description ever makes any reference to what area it was recorded in!

    So, of course, we’re led to believe this entire documentary and its core premise was all put together in less than 2 weeks in order to be the premier event of Shark Week.
    After all, it’s not like these things take months to make. Or that schedules are prepared months ahead of time.

    In other words, not only is the show itself a load of rubbish, but Discovery have expanded the content onto social media AS IF IT WAS ALL REAL.
    The show might have had a small disclaimer, but none of the social media content has any disclaimers at all!

    There’s no two ways about it. They are definitely targeting the more… suggestible viewers and providing external content that will further legitimise the show to people who turn to google to look up more information, or see the youtube video in the show and decide to look it up.

    • james lawson · August 20, 2014

      Discovery is in my back yard filming their new doc “T-Rex lives, in Alaska!”…. next yr shark week will have “Megalodon vs Godzilla”.

  88. Robert · August 20, 2014

    What’s bad is, last night animal planet showed both megaladon and shark of darkness back to back, guess they didn’t think that people would put the two together and realize they are talking about the same mythical shark

  89. BrySkye · August 20, 2014

    Just a little more information on how this show was expended onto social media, because I’m really bloody concerned about it.

    The shows Melvyn Thurmond also has an online blog, which you can find here.

    Now you might think he’s been blogging since January. since that’s what the archives would suggest.
    However, if you have a little look on the profile page…

    Oh… it seems on this page the user can’t edit the dates for when posts where made.
    And the entries for January, February and March were actually all posted on July 17th.

    Now you might be thinking I’ve delved a little too far into this and maybe I’m a bit crazy or something.

    But the key thing here I would like to emphasise is that the youtube accounts and that blog make absolutely no reference to an affiliation with Discovery Channel, never mind any disclaimers.
    These accounts can easily be found on google, indeed the first google result for Melvyn Thurmond is the typepad blog.
    And they are completely separate from anything to suggest they have actually been created by the Discovery Channel as an extension a TV show.

    This is surely getting dangerous in terms of how misleading its getting.
    While the content is duplicated on the Discovery website, this is also out there on its on, with no kind of oversight or accountability.
    It only serves to make people think the show features real people and covered real events.

    Even the disclaimer was wishy-washy, only referring to the show as a dramatisation, which itself seems dangerously vague and misleading.

    Mayday/Air Crash Investigation on Nat Geo shows dramatisations. They are based on real events.
    How can you have a dramatisation of events that never… actually… happened?

  90. Domnic · August 20, 2014

    ppppppppppppppppppppp I’ll NEVER watch Discovery Channel again. I wasted my time watching this garbage…. I want my time back…

  91. Dylan · August 27, 2014

    It was a fun bit of fiction and I can proudly say I know that guy Dickie who got on the fake shark to attract sharks.

  92. Vincent · August 31, 2014

    Did I just waste 138 min watching a fake documentory?

  93. Laurette Hanekom · September 8, 2014

    What an disappointment to find out it was a fade documentary! I’m so disappointed in Discovery Chanel for including a fake documentary on Shark Week!

  94. Fred · September 9, 2014

    I’m just sad that they do stuff like this to “revive” the “legendary” jaws, the huge man eating shark that proved to be elusive and smart and a real danger to human beings, i’m sad because sharks will pay a huge price on these ridiculous fiction movies, specially from idiots that think this is real and will try to kill as many sharks as they can to “exterminate” man eating sharks, never underestimate the power of propaganda allied with stupidity.

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