AL the Anomallama finds this shark story alarming. Here’s why he shouldn’t. (Hint: STUPID TV)

What a bunch of baseless assumptions, speculation and fear mongering! Sploid has posted this story without ANY critical thought whatsoever because MONSTERS! And now it’s getting a ton of attention from people who are not thinking about it whatsoever, just passing it on. It’s making the rounds on mystery mongering sites where the commentators have to say either OMG MEGALODON! or, ummm, there are several less dramatic explanations. Oh, but talking about the rational stuff, that’s being a “wet blanket”.

A 9 foot long shark is tagged. The tag is recovered sans shark but with strange data. Check out the video for more about the depth and temp range recorded by the tag. Interesting.

But then, it’s all about the way the data was framed. For television and media consumption…

Scientists: A mysterious animal ate an entire 9-foot great white shark.

This is a the perfect time to introduce our new mascot, AL the Anomallama. AL responds just the like the public, without thinking too hard. Then he just retweets the amazing story to his friends. On a scale of 1-5 – 5 being panic – AL finds this story a 4.

GIANT MYSTERY SHARK EATING ANIMAL!!!!!

AL is ALARMED. LEVEL 4

AL is ALARMED. LEVEL 4

OK, AL, chill out. There are a ton of things wrong with this and you don’t go into the ocean. So, don’t panic.

The first assumption is that the whole shark has been eaten. That’s not a foregone conclusion. The tag is detached from the shark. That’s all we know for sure. Only the tag may have been eaten. Perhaps the shark was attacked by something –  9 feet is not very large – a sperm whale, another shark, an orca or a giant squid, all of which can dive very deep. Lots of people bet on the giant squid, because that’s cool. Except we already know giant squid exist so it’s not all that mysterious. Maybe they eat sharks. Big deal, SO DO PEOPLE.

Other options include the shark was captured, de-finned, and the tag was discarded, possibly then eaten by another animal (you find a lot of garbage in the stomachs of sea creatures).

Many people went to town on this saying it was Megalodon or some monster. There is NO reason to conclude that. None. It’s nonsense (but of course lots of fun) to speculate wildly with little to go on, making it as incredible as possible.

As usual, Animal Planet is being ridiculous about it, saying it might be Megalodon (based on their fictional show with bogus scientists played by actors). Does ANYONE at the Discovery Network know ANYTHING about REAL ANIMALS? You know, the ones that people actual know exist? I doubt it.

I have not seen shark researchers weigh in yet. If anyone has some INTELLIGENT links to this story, please post. It’s Friday and I’m sick of mindless stuff. And even deep-sea dwelling animals have to eat.

UPDATE: Solved, it was most likely another great white. The data matches with that. Big sharks eat littler sharks. No big deal, unless you are that poor shark. See links in our comments. Paranormal and mystery-mongering sites? There is NO reason to conclude there is a new super preditor. Epic fail. As usual.

What ate a 3 meter long Great White? Probably a Wereshark | Deep Sea News.

“Scienotainment TV Channels keep spreading the story of a magical ocean full of mermaids, sea monsters, and the long extinct megalodon…”

and comments from the researchers:

All evidence suggests that the tag had been eaten by another white shark.

via Busting the megalodon myth: did a 3m shark get eaten by an even bigger shark? | News @ CSIRO.

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  15 comments for “AL the Anomallama finds this shark story alarming. Here’s why he shouldn’t. (Hint: STUPID TV)

  1. June 6, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    My colleague, Tom Head, over at Mysterious Universe covered this intelligently and with a critical eye.

    http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/06/nine-foot-great-white-shark-eaten-by-unknown-sea-creature/

  2. Indrid Cole
    June 6, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    I just saw a program in which scientists in California were studying the annual great white feeding frenzy on seals, when one of the sharks was blasted out of the water and killed by an orca. The rest of the great whites immediately dove down deep and hightailed it towards Hawaii, totally abandoning their primary feeding opportunity out of pure fear.

  3. June 6, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Something is being prepped by shark experts over at Deep Sea News. So intelligent fare is forthcoming. Thanks. Goodness.

  4. spookyparadigm
    June 6, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    1. I’m assuming sperm whale.

    2. This Smithsonian show is a repackage of an Australian show. They already know the answer, but are purposely packaging it like Discovery Channel style mystery monger shows

    http://www.watoday.com.au/environment/western-australia-shark-mystery-sparks-bigger-questions-over-ocean-predators-20131029-2wdo8.html

    • June 7, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Thanks. I wanted to put this link up.

  5. James G
    June 7, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    Three points:

    1 – The people at Discovery who knew anything about real animals were fired for low ratings and general buzzkillery.

    2 – While more reasonable people are formulating an intelligent response to this video, it will not travel nearly as far as the original silliness.

    C: I love Al. Al is awesome.

  6. June 7, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    I just want to say “anomallama” over and over again.

    • June 7, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      Do DOOO do do do… Anomallama… Do do do do…

      • Anthony
        June 7, 2014 at 7:53 PM

        I’m almost fifty years old and still love that song. It pops up in my head at random and is one of the few songs that gets stuck in my head that I don’t mind being stuck in my head.

  7. eddi
    June 8, 2014 at 5:24 AM

    Here’s a follow-up on what’s eating great whites around Oz. http://sploid.gizmodo.com/mystery-solved-heres-the-animal-that-ate-the-9-foot-gr-1587429691

    tl;dr A bigger great white. Big surprise. At least to the other shark.

  8. Chris Howard
    June 8, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    So, is Al’s full name pronounced Anoma Lama, or is it Anoma Yama?

    Inquiring mimes want to know. ;-)

    • Abel Undercity (@AbelUndercity)
      June 8, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      All we know for certain about Al is that he is larger than a frog.

  9. Rich
    June 8, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Something you so-called skeptics are ignoring is that the background music was really sinister and dramatic. I’m convinced.

    • June 8, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      I hereby supply the gratuitous: “I think we need a bigger boat.”

  10. Mark Scurry
    June 9, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    I did like how the bigger shark was described as a “colossal cannibal” great white shark. It that simply because it’s a little bigger and eats members of its own species? I’m thinking that description might cover a fair chunk of the animal kingdom. Spiders eat smaller spiders, so now they must be colossal (relatively) and cannibals as well right?

    Sadly too predictable how this stuff would be reported. And, pardon the pun, regurgitated.

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