Why Shark Week Is Actually The Greatest Week Of All Time

by Suzanne McKenzie
Discovery Channel

There are some days in a person's life that stand out above all others — the day you graduate from college after years of tireless work, the day you marry your one true love, the day your baby says her first word.

And while the memory of these days will likely bring a smile to your face as you look back on them in the years to come, the fact remains: They're just days, and you'll eventually forget them as abruptly as you did your friends' childhood phone numbers the moment they were programmed into your first cell phone.

But there's one event that is sure to stay with you, even after the years take their toll. One single week so influential and life-altering that it resews the very thread of who you are and what you believe in.

Yes, we're talking about Shark Week.

If you find yourself asking how a single week could possibly encompass so much meaning, we've got two things to say to you.

First, how dare you question greatness just because it exists beyond the scope of your own mind?

And second, you've come to the right place, because if we're passionate about anything, it's converting skeptics who haven't yet been touched by the light radiating from our beloved Shark Week.

Here's why Shark Week 2017 is the greatest week of all. 

1. It kicks off with a race of epic speeds.

Michael Phelps: Human athlete with 39 world records and 23 Olympic gold medals. Great white shark: Seriously fast and most likely furious. In Shark Week's opening night event, Phelps v. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White, the two greatest swimmers from land and sea will test their speed in a competition so monumental that it threatens to disrupt the very order of the natural world.

Phelps vs. Shark – the race is so on.

2. It flirts with the true crime genre.

Attention true crime addicts: Pause the podcast and turn off that documentary you've seen a million times — Shark Week 2017 is here to satisfy your craving.

In Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives, Dr. Michael Domeier attempts to solve the notorious spree of shark attacks that have occurred like eerie clockwork every two years on the same beach in California. It's a race against time as he and other experts tap into every available resource to try to get inside the head of what could be a lone serial attacker or a crime ring of great white proportions.

3. It uncovers the truth about a rumored battle between ancient beasts.

Sharks, crocodiles, sea turtles — name a more iconic trio from the prehistoric era. Go on, we'll wait.

Let Shark Week take you a few million years back in time with Shark-Croc Showdown, in which Dr. Mark Meekan and conservationist Paul de Gelder travel to a remote Australian peninsula where it's said that sharks and crocodiles brawl over sea turtle prey. These experts will distinguish fact from fiction as they chase the origins of this biting urban legend.

4. It's literally other-worldly.

You're not down-to-earth, so why should your Shark Week programming be?

Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins will provide you with all the terrifying and fascinating shark coverage you never knew you needed. From goblin to ghost to luminescent lantern sharks, this special will delve into all of the weird and wonderful shark species that look more extra-terrestrial than down-under.

5. It doesn't discriminate based on coast.

Shark Week is all about inclusivity, not exclusivity. And that's why they're bridging the gap between the biggest rivals since Phelps vs. Shark: East Coast vs. West Coast.

Sharks And The City: New York and Sharks And The City: LA explore the complex relationship that sharks have with both of these major coastal cities.

Will we finally find out which coast reigns supreme? And, more important, do the 'East Coast chic' and 'West Coast cool' labels still prove true when it comes to the cities' underwater residents? Tune in as experts attack these questions and more, finally getting you the answers you've been hunting for.

The greatest week of all is finally here: Shark Week starts Sunday, July 23 at 7p. Check out the full schedule here and watch brand new episodes all week long!