In a weird bit of synchronicity, I came across an article the other day that was not only talking about a furphy, but one that links to both of my previous furphy posts!
Back when I mentioned the much maligned Lemmings, you might have been surprised to see that a so-called documentary had been responsible, and you might have hoped that this kind of thing didn’t happen anymore. Well, sadly it does.
Recently Discovery Channel in the US showed a ‘documentary’ about the Megladon (giant prehistoric shark) which was entirely fictional yet presented as though fact. Discovery, who used to be known for factual science doco’s, point to a disclaimer that I believe was at the end of the piece as evidence they weren’t trying to pass fiction off as fact, but this described the doco as ‘dramatised’ which I think everyone agrees means something different to pure fiction.
So yes, the sharks cop it again. Even though this time it probably won’t lead to the deaths of millions of creatures like the cancer furphy.
For the record, if anything the size of the megladon still existed in our oceans then we’d know about it because the species weren’t deep sea hunters, so they aren’t hiding down in the depths of the unexplored ocean.
But of course, most people who viewed the doco thought the whole thing was real. This, as the Huffington Post points out just muddies the waters of science education.
I guarantee you there will be people talking about the survival to modern times of the megladon for years to come. This is exactly how furphies start!
For some science discussion of how little fact was included in the doco, check this link here.