Atlas Obscura Launches Online Lecture Series in Honor of Shark Week

Sharks are some of the most majestic and misunderstood creatures in the animal kingdom, which is exactly why Atlas Obscura is set to celebrate the fish with an upcoming lecture series. Later this month, Discovery is kicking off their annual Shark Week event, but for those who can't wait that long and want to dive into the deep end of shark knowledge, you can enroll in Atlas Obscura's five-week lecture series, which will not only prepare you for Shark Week but will also be there for you once the official event comes to an end. You can head to the official Atlas Obscura website to enroll in the program now.

The program is described, "Over 500 species of sharks roam Earth's marine ecosystems, but most people are familiar with only a few-typically the ones whose ominous dorsal fins have made it onto the silver screen. In this course led by marine biologist Melissa Cristina Márquez, we'll dive deeper, glimpsing the complicated, wildly fascinating reality of these extraordinary predators and the myriad lives they lead. Together, we'll wriggle free from the stale jaws of Hollywood shark depictions, taking time to look more holistically at the magnificent mosaic of shark species out there, their importance to the planet, and what the future holds for them. We'll cover basic shark anatomy before backstroking our way into the past, where we'll glimpse the underwater beasts who ruled the oceans in ancient times and look at how humans imagined them from above the waves. We'll trace that human-shark relationship through centuries to the present day, where it remains rather...complicated. Each session promises to open your eyes and heart a little more to these misunderstood fish; by the end of our time together, you might begin to envision a world in which humans and sharks coexist a little better."

The syllabus is as follows:

  • Session 1 (Monday, July 11th, 8 – 9 p.m. ET) | Fintastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Biology, behavior, and beyond
  • Session 2 (Monday, July 18th, 8 – 9 p.m. ET) | Grandma Shark: Condensing 450 million years into one bite-sized lesson
  • Session 3 (Monday, July 25th, 8 – 9 p.m. ET) | No-fin Compares: Why sharks matter to our planet
  • Session 4 (Monday, August 1st, 8 – 9 p.m. ET) | Great White Lies: Exploring our relationship with sharks through time
  • Session 5 (Monday, August 8th, 8 – 9 p.m. ET) | Come to the Shark Side: Human-shark interactions, conflicts, and coexistence 

The Truth About Sharks With Melissa Cristina Márquez kicks off on July 11th. Shark Week starts on the Discovery Channel on July 24th.

Are you going to be checking out the program? Let us know in the comments!