SHARKS. Sharks are fucking boss and anyone who’s seen Jaws knows it. They’re the death machines of the sea, tearing into everything and anything, refusing to stop moving because not moving around killing the shit out of things causes a shark to instantly drop dead with a terminal case of being a pussy. If they were people they’d have mullets and wear leather and would punch the femur straight out of a cop’s leg just because they felt like it and goddamn it, they’re motherfucking sharks and sharks can do whatever they want and they’ll kill you if you say otherwise. I read that in a book and it’s a fact and if you don’t agree with facts then you’re Sarah Palin and an idiot.
Thanks to a combination of its sheer size, the movie Jaws and over a hundred recorded unprovoked attacks on humans, the Great White is undoubtedly the most recognisable and feared fish currently living in the world’s oceans. Personally, given the fact that humans kill on average anything from 25 to 100 million sharks every year, I consider us to be the significantly bigger dicks. Seriously significantly. Just for the sake of this comparison, humans are Terry Crews and sharks are Mary Berry. Do you get what I’m saying? I imagine Terry Crews has a cock like an overweight daschund in a Christmas stocking, and Mary Berry is a sweet old lady who bakes cakes and has a vagina. That’s how much sharks are getting screwed in this comparison. No surfer deserves to get eaten, but Toothy McMurderson pictured above could chow through forty babies a day and still add very little weight to the sharky end of the karmic scale. If you don’t believe me, just look at the pictorial evidence I’ve just fabricated to enhance my tortured metaphor.
To balance things out, what the sharks really need is a secret weapon – a shark so unbelievably badass that it could eat a whole beach full of fat, sunburnt assholes for every poor shark lifted out of the sea and finned for soup. Such a shark definitely existed at one point, and some eager cryptozoologists are convinced it could still exist today. A close relative of the Great White, Megalodon Carcharias is the largest shark to have ever lived, having reached a conservative estimate of around 15 metres in length and a speculated maximum of 20:
The grey and red sharks pictured above are the larger and smaller size estimates for Megalodon. The purple one is a whale shark (note the word ‘whale’ in there, for connoisseurs of words used to describe fucking big things) and the harmless little green fella is the modern Great White. The little waving guy is, presumably, a midmorning snack.
Like just about every other cryptid, the ‘evidence’ for the ongoing existence of massive unknown sharks doesn’t amount to much more than anecdotal witness testimony. Just about every sane scientist going is convinced that Megalodon is a murderous nightmare confined to our planet’s ancient history, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other large sharks out there still waiting to be discovered, sometimes entirely by accident. The filter-feeding megamouth shark was a completely unknown quantity until it was first snagged in a net in 1976, and to this day there have only been 55 confirmed specimens or sightings of it.
Perhaps the most famous ‘mystery shark’ sighting occurred in 1918 in the waters off Broughton Island, Australia. Ichthyologist David Stead interviewed a group of fishermen following their reported encounter with a massive shark that tore through their crayfishing setup, making off with “pots, mooring lines and all”. Even accounting for some seriously overexcited exaggeration, the shark was vast – one fisherman claimed it was longer than the wharf on which the men stood as they told their story, which was a significantly more than titchy 115 feet long. Furthermore, the beast was a uniform ghostly white, and had ‘boiled’ the water it thrashed through. Stead believed the men to be earnest in their descriptions, and his confidence in them was bolstered by the fact that they refused to return to the sea for days afterwards.
It’s very likely there are still a fair few large marine animals still waiting to be discovered, but for whatever reason, Megalodon is the monster most fervently hoped for by cryptozoologists and shark nutters. It’s featured in countless books and at least one mind-shittingly awful movie, Megashark Vs Giant Octopus, in which it leaps thousands of feet out of the sea in order to bite a fucking passenger jet out of the sky:
As an often-repeated example of evidence for Megalodon‘s continued existence, there’s controversy over some of the fossil evidence for the shark. Being fish with skeletons made of cartilage, pretty much the only part of a shark’s anatomy sturdy enough to survive the fossilisation process are the teeth. Generally believed to have died out in the Pleistocene around 1.5 million years ago, sceptics have argued that mineral deposits on some Megalodon teeth aren’t consistent with that timeframe, and seem to put them at a much more bed-wettingly recent 10,000 years old. So if you’re the kind of idiot stupid enough to take his scientific cues from terrible movies on the Syfy channel, I suggest you don’t board a Boeing 747 anytime soon.