Julie’s Jabber: ‘Megalodon’, Am I Smarter than a 9-Year-Old?

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

I’m still pretty angry about “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” which the Discovery Channel aired during Shark Week. I’m not mad the Discovery Channel outright LIED to make the show sensational. After all, these are the same people who brought us “Mermaids: The Body Found.” Furthermore, the normal shark shows got kind of boring. Did YOU watch “Alien Sharks?” My point exactly.

I’m MAD at the Discovery Channel because they showed me that I’m no smarter than a 9-year-old. I know this because I watched the Megalodon special with my 4th-grade daughter and we both bought the story hook, line and sinker.

Emma came home that day talking about “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” because all the kids at camp were raving about it. Fortunately it was on the DVR so she & I settled onto the sofa to check it out. Within minutes, my 5-year-old little one was so freaked out that she ran out of the room & spent the next 2 hours throwing a party for her La La Loopsy dolls. My 9-year-old and I however, sat on the sofa and CLUTCHED each other as we heard the story of 4-people whose fishing boat was destroyed by what appeared to be a massive shark. We listened in horror as they played back the sounds of the attack and a woman screaming “SHAAAARRRKK!” We sat through every last horrible moment of the Megalodon special and when it was over my daughter looked to me for comfort.

“Mommy, those people weren’t eaten by Megalodon, were they?”

“No, of course not! I’m sure they swam to safety and just haven’t contacted their parents yet.”

Later that night though I couldn’t sleep because I was trying to imagine what it would be like to be swallowed whole by a submarine-sized shark. They probably wouldn’t even chew you up, right? Then I realized that this would put to rest any cruise-ship plans we might have. I mean, what if it was bitten in 2 by a prehistoric shark?

I found out the stupid truth about Megalodon when I got to work the following day. People all over the Internet were angry with The Discovery Channel for producing such an obviously fake documentary. No one admitted to being duped. Of course not! They were way too smart to fall for such a stupid and OBVIOUSLY FAKE show. A very sweet woman I work with came in laughing at the world’s stupidity because she never thought for a second Megalodon was real. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I think it involved yelling and a “You think you’re so smart” comment. I overreacted, in other words.

I also texted my husband and told him to pass on the good news to Emma, so she could go to camp and explain to everyone that Megalodon was NOT REAL. I couldn’t wait to pick her up that day so we could share our embarrassment (and our relief that those people didn’t really die!) but that’s not how it played out.

As soon as my daughter hopped in the car she said, “You know, I never really believed Megalodon was real. The whole thing looked too fake.”

Again, I might have overreacted. I told her that YES she DID believe the whole thing and I knew because I’d been sitting there with her the WHOLE TIME. I also said, “I am your MOTHER and you are simply not THAT MUCH smarter than me!”

That kind of killed the whole debate, but it didn’t matter because we were at the pool by then and too hot to fight anymore. We all grabbed a floatie, hopped in the pool and started trying to cool off. I pulled my favorite trick of sinking to the bottom and sitting with my eyes closed, just listening to the kids play above me.

After a blissful moment of quiet darkness, a single word slipped into my mind: MEGALODON.

I shot to the surface and hopped out as fast as humanly possible. My kids looked at me in shock, with the oldest asking, “Are you OK?”

“Yes, I’m fine. I’m just getting a little cold.”

Smarter than a 9-year-old? I think not.


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