Chomp Chomp: 'Shark Week' vs. 'SharkFest', a Battle of the Fins

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IROZ GAIZKA/AFP via Getty Images

When you're born in the month of July and rocked to sleep for quite a few nights under the dim light of great white sharks launching themselves into the air, you're bound to have a fraught relationship with the creature.

There are only two things in life that are both completely frightening and fascinating to me at the same time: PTA moms and sharks. Honestly, I think it's just the shark teeth because when I see photos of goofy, human teeth superimposed into their mouths, they're suddenly not as absolutely terrifying as they were before.

When Shark Week first aired in 1988, just a year after the final installment in the Jaws franchise, Jaws: The Revenge, I'm sure the creators at Discovery Channel assumed it would garner a fair amount of attention. With Shark Week 2022 this year (just a short 34 years later), the programming is as strong as ever, except for one minor thing: it's got a competitor now.

It turns out, all you have to do is slap the word "fest" right after the word, "shark," and you've got a budding rivalry and a month's worth of programming. SharkFest is an entire month of TV specials and other programming, though it's on National Geographic instead of Discovery Channel. In essence, Shark Week is like taking home a goodie bag from a birthday party while SharkFest is like demolishing the entire pinata, taking all of its contents home for yourself, and feeling ill for the next few days because you ate an absurd amount of banana Laffy Taffys.

Shark Week 2022 kicks off on July 24 on Discovery Channel; SharkFest starts on July 10 and airs for four weeks on National Geographic.

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