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The Shark Research Unit rocks it on National Geographics – Sharkfest 2020

 2020 Sharkfest on National Geographic starting 4 July has month-long shark documentaries including the South African filmed Shark vs Whale hosted by the Shark Research Units – Ryan Johnson

National Geographic’s SharkFest is back and ramping up its offering this winter.

National Geographic and National Geographic Wild together will air four full weeks of shark programming with 17 original premieres and the best shark programming from the networks’ massive library as part of its biggest-ever shark spectacular.

A shark drowning a whale

Taking centre stage in this year’s marathon is the show Shark Vs Whale that is hosted by the Shark Research Unit’s very own Ryan Johnson!

It follows Ryan as he does a routine drone survey and discovers something he’s never seen before. Captured from the air, Ryan films a humpback whale being attacked and strategically drowned by a great white shark.

The never-before-seen behaviour causes a complete perspective shift on a creature Johnson has spent his life studying. To make sense of the event, he follows humpback whales on their migration, mapping places that may make them vulnerable, and takes a new look at great white sharks to discover how and why they become whale killers.

“For the past eight years, National Geographic and National Geographic Wild have been the destination for viewers to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most awe-inspiring creatures, and this year we’re eating up the competition with an unprecedented line-up of action-packed shark shows,” says Geoff Daniels, executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment at National Geographic.

He adds: “Over four full weeks, our viewers will get the ultimate home field advantage to witness the ocean’s super stars in their prime, so pull up your beach chairs and get ready for some SharkFest!”

READ MORE: A shark is filmed hunting a whale – what happens next has never been seen and has stunned experts

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This year’s starting line-up includes:

America’s Deadliest Sharks

Monday, 6 July at 18:00 on National Geographic Wild (DStv 181)

Up to 175 species of shark live in the oceans around the United States but only a handful of those have been known to attack humans. Despite that, they have more shark attacks there every year than the rest of the world combined.

What the Shark

Tuesday, 7 July at 18:00 on National Geographic Wild (DStv 181)

This film is a deep dive – from the sunny beach to the 8000-foot abyss, where extreme adaptation is critical to survival. For sharks in this dark void, pressure, or a lack of it, could blow flesh to pieces, and inky darkness could mean never finding prey. But these weirdsters have their act together. They’re a ghostly cast of living monsters that defy the convention of life on Earth as we know it.

Shark vs. Surfer

Tuesday, 14 July at 18:00 on National Geographic Wild (DStv 181)

Surfers aren’t the only athletes in the water; they share the playing field with the most powerful players below surface, and often, they’re no match for the real danger among the waves. In Shark vs. Surfer, travel to the most shark-infested surf spots around the world to hear harrowing shark-and-surfer stories told by the survivors, along with insight from the world’s leading marine biologists, Ryan Johnson and Dr. Steven Kajuira.

World’s Biggest Tiger Shark

Wednesday, 15 July at 18:00 on National Geographic Wild (DStv 181)

Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Andy Casagrande and marine biologist Kori Garza journey to a remote lagoon in French Polynesia to dive with the “tigers of Tahiti” in search of the world’s largest living tiger shark, Kamakai. While there, they capture cooperative hunting tactics between two juvenile tiger sharks for the first time ever on film!

Most Wanted Sharks

Monday, 20 July at 18:00 on National Geographic Wild (DStv 181)

Of the millions of sharks in our oceans, a select few are so fascinating, they’ve become worldwide celebrities with legions of fans and followers. In Most Wanted Sharks, marine biologist and shark-suit inventor Jeremiah Sullivan dives into the stories of the most sensational shark stars of all time.


Tuesday 21 July at 18:00 on National Geographic Wild (DStv 181)

Sharks and volcanoes, across the globe: where you find one, you find the other. Researchers have not figured out what attracts sharks to the hotspots, but world-renowned shark scientist Dr. Michael Heithaus is on a mission to figure out the answer. He criss-crosses the globe and risks life and limb to uncover the shocking real-life link between these two fearsome forces of nature.

Sharks vs. Dolphins: Blood Battle

Sunday, 28 July at 18:00 on National Geographic Wild (DStv 181)

The ultimate feud is waged beneath the waves: sharks versus dolphins. They’ve shared the ocean for millennia, but scientists have only just begun to understand the complex relationship between the two. The special follows a team of experts as they travel to the epicentre of this savage struggle — Shark Bay, Australia — to unlock the secrets of shark and dolphin combat.

Discover how to be a Great White Shark research Intern in South Africa

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