On Sunday, The Discovery Channel's Shark Week begins, a week-long series of feature television programs devoted to sharks. The series first aired on July 17, 1988 and has been broadcast every year since, now in over 72 countries.
The week was developed to help Americans have a greater appreciation and respect for sharks, and it has developed an almost cult-like following over the past decade, since it first premeired. As always, this year's Shark Week features an exciting range of programs and will be sure not to disappoint.
Here's a full summary of the lineup and what you can expect from Shark Week 2012:
Sunday: Air Jaws Apocalypse (9:00 PM EST)
Shark expert Chris Fallows and producer Jeff Kurr travel to South Africa to learn more about the great white sharks of Seal Island. They study Colossus, a 14-foot great white shark that dominates all other sharks and nearly eats the camera. On their adventure, they find dozens of great whites in shallow water which feed on smaller sharks and rays.
Sunday: Shark Week's Impossible Shots (10:00 PM EST)
Andy Casagrande heads to Gansbaai, South Africa to try to get footage of a previously never-before-filmed great white shark. Their mission is to capture on camera a new image of a great white shark's Polaris breach.
Monday: Sharkzilla (9:00 PM EST)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Shark Week, Discovery Channel has resurrected the mightly Megalodon, the largest shark to ever swim in the ocean. The team recreates this monster shark, which was as large as 60 feet long and weighed at least 100,000 pounds, with 250 serrated teeth, each six inches long.
Monday: Mythbusters' Jawsome Shark Special (10:00 PM EST)
Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman count down their top 25 myth-busters of all time and reveals the #1 shark myth.
Tuesday: How Jaws Changed the World (9:00 PM EST)
In the aftermath of the film Jaws, great white sharks were vilified and killed, and they nearly disappeared altogether from the eastern seaboard. Public fascination with sharks led to a golden age of shark science that completely changed our view of the ocean and how it works. This film traces the way the movie impacted science forever.
Tuesday: Adrift: 47 Days With Sharks (10:00 PM EST)
This is the story of two WWII heroes who crashed in the Pacific in shark-infested waters and managed to survive 47 days at sea in a life raft. They survived on only the food they were able to catch from the ocean and the water they were able to collect from the rain, all while fighting off a gang of sharks.
Wednesday: Shark Fight (9:00 PM EST)
Dozens of victims of shark attacks have now become shark advocates. Listen to the stories of Shark Survivors and hear their plea to save the sharks and our oceans.
Thursday: Great White Highway (9:00 PM EST)
Stanford University marine biologists have tracked great white sharks, which travel every year from San Francisco to Monterey Bay. The team hopes to find out how these sharks live and why California is one of the biggest stops on the Great White Highway.
Thursday: 25 Best Bites (10:00 PM EST)
Take a look at the best bites in Shark Week history.
For more info, check out the Discovery Channel's full lineup here.