Jaws vs. Jellies?

Have you noticed that there’s a bit of a shark frenzy going on right now? Of course it is at least partly due to this being Discovery Channel’s Shark Week (Discovery, Wikipedia). The nearly 30 year old event has gotten even more notoriety than usual because of the “Michael Phelps Faster Than a Shark?” publicity stunt (viewers weren’t impressed when it turned out to be a “simulated” shark).

Discovery also posted some new 360° Videos on their dedicated Shark Week 360 Videos YouTube Channel. Here’s one of the better videos you will find there.

YouTube is also featuring a Swim With Sharks Playlist on their 360 Video Channel.

In case you’re wondering, here’s a short 2 minute video Discovery made last year that shows how they went about filming “non-simulated” sharks.

Another reason for the annual shark frenzy is undoubtedly due to the anniversary of the release of Spielberg’s original “shark movie,” Jaws way back in the summer of 1975 that was then followed up the other movies in the franchise as well as the slew of other movies in their wake (IMDb List, Wikipedia List).

Now if you happen to live in the Eastern US, all of the annual attention to sharks isn’t just about entertainment. The premise of Jaws was based on a kernel of actual fact — there really are “Great White Sharks” lurking off the coast (Britannica, Wikipedia).

Here’s a clip from just a month ago that confirms it.

Here’s a story that confirms that they’ve been tracked as far north as New Hampshire!
Website shows great white sharks near NH coast (Jennifer Crompton, News Reporter)

If you read enough stories, you’ll find that no one is “actually” expecting a spat of shark attacks. The reality is that people on the Cape are more likely to be attacked by Jellyfish.

Yes, Jellyfish!

Now you’re probably picturing these delicate creatures like the ones in this 360° Video.

Unfortunately, the Jellyfish on the Cape this summer are the scary Portuguese man-of-war.
Will swimmers feel the sting? Man-of-war returns to Cape Cod (AP)

That brings us to the title of the post. Shouldn’t someone make a Jaws vs. Jellies movie? There are actually some fairly terrifying Jellyfish out there in the ocean. My vote for an antagonist in such a movie would be the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish (#2 in the video). It grows up to 120 feet long and is longer than the largest blue whale. One time over 100 swimmers up in New Hampshire were even stung by what was probably a single 40-pound Lion’s Mane.

There are all sorts of weird facts about Jellyfish that could be used to craft a great narrative. For example, they are carnivorousness, one type has 24 eyes including 4 with 360° views, another type glows florescent green and yet another has one of the most deadly venoms on earth. Find out even more about Jellyfish in this TED-Ed video!

Finally, a quick search showed that there is no such thing as a Shark vs. Jellyfish movie (yet), but the search did turn up some fairly odd stuff about “shark jelly” — it turns out that the jelly in shark’s brains acts as a powerful electrical conductor. Who knew?

So, despite the fact that the persistent rumors of another Jaws sequel are consistently denied, just in case, Mr. Spielberg, hint, hint… 😉

Find out more about sharks