NATURE’s Shark Mountain takes viewers on a dive of a lifetime to reveal underwater creatures unlike anywhere else in the world. Some 300 miles off Costa Rica is Cocos Island, a tiny Pacific outpost that was once a favorite haunt of pirates. Cocos, a designated World Heritage Site, lies directly in the path of powerful ocean currents that often collide with the island, churning the waters into an undersea storm. These swirling currents carry rich nutrients to a reef teeming with brilliantly colored marine life. Residents include moray eels, hawksbill turtles, leatherbass, bigeye jacks, red-lipped batfish, yellow barberfish, hogfish, and sea urchins, to name only a few. The currents bring more than algae to this island paradise. They also summon an extraordinary abundance of sharks, providing a golden opportunity to observe some of the most surprising and baffling shark behavior ever captured on film.
Beginning at the fabulous coral reef of Ningaloo in Western Australia, intrepid marine biologist Mark Meakin attempts to unravel the mysterious wanderings of the biggest fish in the sea. Whale sharks grow to over 12 metres long but are gentle, filter-feeding giants; even Mark's five-year-old son can swim alongside them. Yet no-one knows where they go once they leave Ningaloo's turquoise lagoons. Using satellite tags and photo IDs, Mark tracks them to the white coral beaches of the Seychelles and the tropical jewel of Christmas Island, where bright-red land crabs begin their annual migration. It's hard work, taking in 20 failed satellite tags and countless frustrating dives, before Mark makes a breakthrough which doesn't just add to our understanding of these huge 'dinosaur fish' but offers crucial information about how the whale sharks of Ningaloo can be protected better.
You want sharks? We’ve got sharks, because… SHARK WEEK is back! Returning to Discovery Channel screens from 10-16th August, Shark Week features a raft of programmes on the razor-toothed predators. Highlights include Airjaws Finding Colossus, in which shark experts Chris Fallows and Jeff Kurr visit the legendary Seal island in South Africa in search of Great Whites; Mythbuster Jawsome, which counts down the 25th biggest shark myths of all time and Sharkpocalypse, which explores the alarming trend of sharks moving closer to shorelines and its link to the increase in shark attacks. This year also features Megalodon, which scored a huge hit in the US exploring the myth around the massive prehistoric shark. Did it die out 200 million years ago, or is it still alive today? You decide.