As one of the largest vertebrate predators that the planet has ever had the pleasure – or terror – to witness, the Megalodon is one of the most popular creatures in modern history. Although they were wiped out during a Pleistocene extinction of many such species, they roamed the earth for more than 20 million years and absolutely dominated the seas.
Some of the teeth alone found from these incredible creatures were 7 inches in size alone, and it’s estimated by specialists that have looked at the fossilized remains of parts of the Megalodon that they could have reached lengths of up to 54ft! This makes the original supposed King of the Animals, the T-Rex, look rather scrawny in comparison.
Judging from where the majority of the best fossils have been found along the way, it’s suggested by those with the widest knowledge base that they preferred warmer waters but still seemed to roam the planet on a fairly wide scale. They would have eaten things like Whales as a regular food, and would have been the apex of the food chain within the world.
The problem is when something as terrifyingly awesome as a massive shark that would make the greatest Jaws film of all time, people don’t like to believe we’ll never see its likes. From fake footage to absolutely nonsense stories that would make the Loch Ness Monster blush, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about this incredible species.
But is there even any hint to the potential for such a thing to still exist? Here are some of the various debates out there;
The Disney Thing
Disney – you know, those fictional geniuses that make up stories about talking mice – once upon a time made a documentary known as “Megalodon – The Monster Shark Lives”. In this documentary, you seen a dorsal and caudal fins of a shark that were larger than a Megalodon comfortably, and various witness accounts from scientists telling us that this thing was real.
The problem was that this film came with the most obvious disclaimer of all time – it’s a lot of nonsense, and it’s entirely fictional. Even the scientists were paid actors. The biggest piece of “evidence” out there for the survival of the Megalodon is a Disney piece of fiction.
Many sketches over the years show the corpses of beached sharks that have died or been killed. Some of these sketches seem to have the same perspective as a four year old drawing a picture of its mother and father. You can’t take the artistic impression of old sketches as proof that a super shark still roams these lands.
You would imagine that these sketches are instead depicting a Great White or a Basking shark. Sorry, we aren’t going to find some hidden treasure in the sketches of a bored person from many years ago.
However, one of the thumbs up theories is that we’ve started to find things in recent years that we presumed were long gone. The Coelacanth was an extinct form of fish, thought to have died out 60+ million years ago. However, two were found in 1938 and then in 1952, and since then many have been spotted in the waters of the world. They spent a lot of time secluded in caves and at depths of water we were never able to go down to before.
Another positive is the Megamouth shark that was found in the mid-70s. It’s around 15ft in length so is hardly small, and it escaped our grasp until then so yes, it’s possible that we’ve missed the Megalodon all this time. The Megamouth swims at incredibly deep depths during the day, so its detection was difficult.
The problem with this is that Megalodons are known to prefer shallower depths of water rather than the dark, deep depths. It’s possible that they changed their minds of this after, you know, being wiped out but it’s unlikely. They also preferred the warmer waters and as the majority of their prey are now found in colder waters, it’s unlikely they survived long enough.
For it to be hiding under the water, deep enough to be undetected all this time, its diet and lifestyle would have changed completely. It’s unlikely that this happened.
It would be nice to find some kind of super shark, but we’re more likely to come across the Leviathan from the video game series Mass Effect than we are the Megalodon at the deepest depths.
The Giant Squid
The final “Hail Mary” pass of any Megalodon supporter is that the Giant Squid was never discovered until recently and it lives at a comical depth. Well, we’ve been evidence of the Giant Squid for many years beforehand. The Megalodon would be leaving MASSIVE bites in anything it could touch, and would probably have had an altercation with at least one boat by now.
Science, logic, similar creatures and history all say that these insanely overgrown sharks are long gone. Until we harness the power of Jurassic Park, it’ll be staying that way as well.