M = Megalodon, A to Z Blog Challenge

So, this should have been posted yesterday, but I was actually doing something (drinking with a friend) and I’m certain that, whatever the quality of this entry, nobody would have liked it more last night. Since it’s the weekend, I think nobody will read this anyway, but I still want to write it, so here we go.

Great white sharks are amazing, beautiful, dangerous animals which are considered the second most dangerous sharks in the ocean (behind the testosterone-riddled, fresh and salt water travelling bull shark). I regret (almost) any life lost by shark or any animal, but one thing I think people need to remember is that the ocean is the wilderness where wild animals roam.

But is that why we are here tonight? Hell no.

We are here to talk about the ancestor of the great white shark, the megalodon. The name megalodon means “big tooth”, and the fossils of said teeth are supposed to be an average of around 8 inches long or up to 13 inches and were likely serrated like their little brothers’. These amazing animals were reported to have lived 16 to 2.6 million years ago, and could be up to 60 feet long. The largest great white on record is just over 20.

Megalogon scaleTerrifying, isn’t it?

These things were in our oceans. Some people think that they could still be around, though that has largely been debunked. But what if? Can you imagine what these things would be like in today’s seas? A shark bigger than most boats could be lurking around under you…it would certainly make those shark finning assholes think twice.

There's even a meme about it.

There’s even a meme about it.

Sure, that one is terrifying, but what about this one?

Sweet mother of god.

Sweet mother of god.

They apparently died out for several reasons. Sea level dropped, and these horrid beasts needed a lot of it to swim and eat in. The ocean also cooled, which apparently really pissed them off. Also, there were fewer sources of food. Think of a giant fat man with a broken car where all the McDonald’s in the area shut down. Where will he get his food? Walk? Yeah, the megalodon needed a LOT of food, and if there wasn’t enough to eat in the shallow, cold, cold seas, there’s no way they could survive. This killed them off after time.

Which is probably best. Consider going swimming with these in the ocean.

It would get a pissy, shitty meal.

It would get a pissy, shitty meal.

The ecological ramifications of them being around would be insane. And, even direr, how would we get our sushi?! Breathe people. This is all conjecture, but it has gotten many a book and movie off the ground, and I think it’s what kept the SyFy channel in business for some time. Shark Week had a bad moment with a fake documentary about the megalodon that rather pissed people off.

There are plenty of B movies made about them, and some good and not so good novels. If you want to start with the good, you can try any of Steve Alten’s Meg novels. However, be warned that he randomly switches to present tense and tends to WAY over-explain the associated technology needed to see, capture, and contain these animals. To the point where one wants to skip over the pages and pages of dissertation and just take him at face value to get on with the goddamned story. There is Big-Ass Shark by Briar Lee Mitchell, which I have not read yet but sounds not only amusing but ecologically responsible. I read Extinct by Charles Wilson some time ago and the characters are more likable than most of the others mentioned here

Alternate letter considerations: Maleficent, Mikado, The (comedic operetta)

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~ by Darren Endymion on August 16, 2015.

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