Nat Geo Announce Six-Week SharkFest Schedule, Including Chris Hemsworth-Hosted Special

As the weather warms up heading into the summer months, most people start making plans to visit [...]

As the weather warms up heading into the summer months, most people start making plans to visit their nearest beaches, but National Geographic will instead be delivering audiences six weeks' worth of reminders about what lurks in the ocean depths, as TheWrap confirmed that the network will be delivering its biggest slate of SharkFest programming yet. If delivering all-new specials across multiple networks and streaming services wasn't enough proof of how much bigger this year's event will be, Thor star Chris Hemsworth has even been enlisted into the adventure, as he hosts the new special Shark Beach. SharkFest kicks off on Monday, July 5th.

"The mysteries of the ocean's most iconic predators are so vast, even with eight years of shark-focused content under our belt, there still remains more to be discovered," Janet Vissering, senior vice president of development and production at National Geographic Partners, revealed to TheWrap. "Like every year, shark scientists and oceanic experts have pulled out all the stops for this year's 'SharkFest,' revealing new discoveries, shocking revelations, and bizarre shark behavior never seen before. It's going to be jaw-some!"

The planned schedule of programming is as follows:

When Sharks Attack

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 5th, at 8 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 2nd, at 8 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 9th
  • The world's beaches quickly turn deadly in this terror-filled deep-sea saga when sharks descend, shocking the local community and sending scientists reeling. What causes these spikes in activity? And how can they be prevented?

Shark Beach With Chris Hemsworth

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 5th, at 9 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 2nd, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 9th
  • Chris Hemsworth is on a mission to uncover the science of shark behavior and discover how humans and sharks can safely coexist. After an increase in local shark attacks along the east coast of Australia, Hemsworth seeks to understand different species of sharks and their behaviors while also exploring new preventative measures and the latest technology to help stave off shark-human encounters. The special from Nutopia (One Strange Rock) also features underwater conservationist and legend Valerie Taylor.

Rogue Shark?

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 5th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 11, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 9th
  • In October 2018, the remote islands of the Whitsunday in Australia were rocked by a series of shark attacks. Incredibly, all the victims were attacked in the same small patch of ocean, no larger than four football fields. Was a rogue serial killer on the loose? Or was something new drawing sharks and humans into conflict?

Orca vs. Great White

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 6th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 3rd, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 9th
  • Off the coast of South Africa in 2017, orcas began hunting and killing great white sharks. Now, researchers in New Zealand set out to discover if it could happen again. Diving with several shark populations along New Zealand's southern coast, they investigate this murder mystery and seek answers to this burning question: have their local orcas developed a taste for great white sharks?

Shark Gangs

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 7th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 12, at 8 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 9th
  • For years sharks have been viewed as solitary predators, but scientists have recently discovered a surprising new behavior. In this special, we reveal how this apex predator likes to hang out in gangs. So what is behind this behavior? Do sharks enjoy a social life, or are they working together to become even more effective hunters?

Croc That Ate Jaws

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 8th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 4th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 9th
  • From mysterious severed heads and ambush attacks to mob hunts and stand-offs, what happens when two of the deadliest predators on the planet go head-to-head?

World's Most Dangerous Shark?

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 9th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 5th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 16th
  • The great white has a reputation for being the scariest in the sea, but Explorer Jacques Cousteau called the oceanic whitetip "The most dangerous of all sharks …" Two teams of experts dive deep into the world of the oceanic whitetip to reveal what makes this species a top contender for the title of "world's most dangerous shark."

Shark Attack Files

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 12th, at 9 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 9th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 16th
  • This action-packed series is an investigation into bizarre and fascinating shark behavior. Featuring footage from actual attacks, interactions, and behavior captured by both professionals and observant bystanders, every twist and turn leaves viewers sitting on the edge of their seats. Scientific experts and investigators dive deeper into the mystery of these unexplained behaviors and come to a stunning revelation that ties these extraordinary events together.

Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 12th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 6th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 16th
  • Paige Winter was only 17 years old when she lost a leg and portion of her hand to a shark. Experts unpack the details of Paige's attack to determine what kind of shark is responsible and what can be done, if anything, to avoid this happening again. Despite all Paige has lived through, this inspirational teen remains an advocate for sharks and, with the guidance of professionals, takes brave steps to overcome her greatest fears.

World's Biggest Bull Shark?

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 13th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 10th, at 9 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning July 16
  • It was a freak encounter that broke all the records. In 2012, off the coast of Florida, shark scientist Dr. Neil Hammerschlag caught the mother of all bull sharks—it stretched more than 10-feet long and weighed over 1,000 pounds. They named her Big Bull and set her free. Bull sharks in Florida patrol the beaches, terrifyingly close the swimmers, and feast on seasonal migrations of baitfish. Many long thought these sharks were just well-fed, but now some scientists believe that Big Bull is the matriarch of a unique population of giants. There is only one way to find out … and you gotta get close.

Killer Shark vs. Killer Whale

  • National Geographic — Premieres July 15th, at 10 p.m. ET
  • Nat Geo WILD — Encore Presentation August 11th, at 9 p.m. ET
  • Disney+ — Beginning August 6th
  • The mystery of orcas attacking great white sharks for their livers leaves scientists baffled. This unusual predatory behavior has been witnessed in three parts of the world: California, South Africa, and Australia. But the most shocking outcome is the disappearance of the other sharks after the event. How are they communicating with their kin and getting out of dodge when the killer whales move in?

Playing With Sharks

  • Disney+ — Premieres July 23rd
  • A true pioneer in both underwater filmmaking and shark research, Valerie Taylor is a living legend and icon in the underwater world whose life's work has become the basis for much of what we know about sharks today. Through remarkable underwater archival footage, along with interviews with Taylor, Playing With Sharks, from National Geographic Documentary Films and twice Emmy-nominated director Sally Aitken, follows this daring ocean explorer's trajectory from champion spearfisher to passionate shark protector. From the birth of cage diving to Jaws hysteria to the dawn of cageless shark diving, Taylor became a trailblazing advocate for the ocean's most maligned and misunderstood creatures.

Stay tuned for more details on SharkFest before it officially kicks off on Monday, July 5th.

Which program are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!