In this photo from The Meg, a megalodon shark swims previous a polycarbonate “cage” include a organic oceanographer, played by Li Bingbing.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


What if a gigantic prehistoric shark — one believed to be extinct for part 2.5 million years — quiet lurks in the ocean’s depths? that’s the premise the The Meg, a flick which opened up August 10. This movie pits huge Carcharocles megalodon versus a a handful of resourceful scientists. There’s also a grizzled and also fearless deep-sea rescue diver, play by Jason Statham.

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The main characters discover the sharks in a deep oceanic trench around 300 kilometers (190 miles) turn off the coast of China. The film argues this trench extends more than 11,000 meter (6.8 miles) listed below the sea surface. That would make the deeper 보다 the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep (which is the actual deepest known suggest in the ocean).

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Hydrothermal vents down in the movie’s trench supposedly store its dark waters warm enough to assistance an ecosystem teeming with life. And — spoiler alert! — of course, the scientists inadvertently help the large living fossils escape and head come the surface. There, the megalodons terrorize shark fishermen and beachgoers a la Jaws

But might a population of this mega-sharks actually have survived under in those mega-depths? Meghan Balk is a paleobiologist who research studies the ancient predators. She works at Smithsonian’s national Museum of Natural background in Washington, D.C. And she weighed in for united state on what is and is not possible — and also what us still don’t know about sharks.

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Q: walk megalodons ever before actually acquire as big as they space in the movie? A: Extremely unlikely

Monster-size sharks in The Meg reach lengths of 20 to 25 meter (66 to 82 feet). That’s massive, back a tad smaller than the longest known blue whales. Scientists have actually made approximates of how large C. Megalodon got, based upon the dimension of your fossil teeth. Also the biggest reached only 18 meters (about 60 feet). “And that was the pure largest,” Balk says. Top top average, C. Megalodon had tendency to be roughly 10 meter (33 feet) long, she says. That still do them much much longer than the size of the average an excellent white shark, i beg your pardon tops out at around 5 come 6 meter (16 come 20 feet). So genuine megalodons were much smaller 보다 the movie’s versions.

Q: would certainly a megalodon otherwise look like the film version? A: Yes and no

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