This year, Discovery's Shark Week will explore the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic on sharks

By Ally Mauch
July 02, 2020 02:13 PM
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Brad Leue/Barcroft Media/Getty

Swimmers beware — Shark Week is back!

The annual summer TV event from the Discovery Channel will air the week of August 9 with 20 hours of shark-themed programming. This year, Shark Week will also be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Air Jaws, a series of Discovery Channel films about great white sharks in the waters near South Africa that soar out of the surf for food.

"This year, the pop culture phenomenon will take viewers to oceans around the world revealing phenomenal insights into the mysterious world of these magnificent creatures," a release for Shark Week 2020 said.

It continued, "Discovery Channel continues to work with nearly two dozen of the world’s most respected marine biologists and science institutions to bring brand-new, innovative shark research technology and compelling insight on some of the most unique shark species in the world."

Shark Week 2020 will also be exploring the effectz of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on our oceans. Viewers will be transported to the waters of New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa to see how the "reduced amount of human activity" during the pandemic has allowed sharks "to reclaim the oceans."

Though Shark Week dates back to the late 1980s, the Discovery Channel still has more new information to share about the ocean animals, as shown in this year’s cheeky promo video.

The video features different people sharing a surprising bit of information learned from Shark Week — sharks have two penises. At the end of the promo, a slogan appears: "There’s still a lot you don’t know."

As in past years, Discovery is once again teaming up with nonprofit Oceana to help protect sharks from the global shark fin trade. According to the Animal Welfare Institute, over one-quarter of all known shark species are considered threatened or endangered.

Shark Week aims to support Oceana by educating fans about why sharks are important to maintaining healthy oceans, and raising money to support the nonprofit’s campaigns.