Shark Week seems to be a pretty big deal to a lot of people, at least here in in the United States. The Discovery Channel is awesome, and the shark is one of the most feared and interesting animals in the world. We tend to be attracted to things that we’re afraid of, and there’s no more magnetic predator than the king of the seas. The Discovery Channel decided to kick off the 2013 edition of Shark Week with a “documentary” that attempted to prove the current existence of a shark that lived around millions of years ago during the Cenozoic Era. That shark is the Megalodon, and it could reach nearly 60 feet in length.
While it was an entertaining special, the Discovery Channel isn’t getting the most positive feedback in response. It’s a channel that fans seem to pride in being authentic, realistic, and factual. Claiming that a shark aged over 20 million years still exists today is stretching it for some us. If you’ve not heard of the Smithsonian Channel, you’ll be delighted to know that it brings us quality content very similar to what the Discovery Channel has to offer. This includes shows and series featuring some of the wild’s largest, scariest, and most unique animals. In this post, I’ll show you three of those that you can begin watching today.
However, please be advised that the full-length content in this post is only available to those of you living in the United States. It’s a decision not made by us, but by the Smithsonian Channel and YouTube. However, if you live outside of the US you can still tease yourself with trailers for the following videos.
For those of you who did manage to find the Discovery Channel’s show on the Megalodon to be interesting, you’ll be even more amused by Titanoboa.
Titanoboa: Monster Snake is an hour-long special highlighting the discovery of the world’s largest snake. Cerrejón, Colombia is home to an enermous pit where coal operations have taken place for years. It also happens to be one of the richest and most accessible fossil deposits in the world.
Through this episode, you’ll see how University of Florida students and paleontologists explore this mine and make some shattering discoveries. Their most impressive find is the backbone of a snake that puts any other to complete shame. This is the discovery of Titanoboa. Titanoboa is a relative of the boa that lived 58 million years ago in the swampy tropics of South America. It is believed that this snake, or at least the longest of the fossils discovered, could be up to 40 feet in length and weigh over a ton.
The shark is the most feared creature beneath the sea. The snake is possibly the scariest of reptiles. As for land-walking mammals, humans know to respect the lion.
This episode takes place in southern Africa, where you’ll follow a pride of lions through the Okavango Delta and experience just how harsh their living conditions can be.
For such merciless and feared predators, this video really allows you to appreciate the lion for being able to survive under these circumstances. We’ve all seen and heard of what the lion can do to their prey, but the Smithsonian Channel really captures a new perspective on the life of a lion with this.
Speed Kills is an episode that highlights not a single animal, but many. All of them are extremely fast, skilled, and dangerous.
Speed Kills will take you through rainforests, savannahs, and the deepest and murkiest of underwater areas to discover some of the world’s swiftest creatures. If you’re into predators who rely on skill and quickness over brute force, you’ll love watching this episode.
Throughout Speed Kills, you’ll be treated to several slow-motion clips (sometimes thousands of frames per second) that will really allow you to appreciate the speed at which these animals operate. You’re going to see cheetahs that can’t be caught by any animal on land, shrimp who can attack so quickly that you wouldn’t believe they’re surrounded by water, and more.
If you’re just hearing about it for the first time, the Smithsonian Channel is really cool. As embedded in this article, many of their videos are available immediately on YouTube, but you can find an entire selection of individual episodes and series on the official Smithsonian Channel website. These aren’t limited to the animal kingdom either. There are all sorts of marvels of nature and history waiting for you to crack open.
The web has given us another way to come closer to the natural world and sometimes even in real time. Let me know what you think of these awesome videos in the comments section below!