The Santa Cruz Mountains seem like an unlikely spot to stumble upon a 10 million year old tooth from a 60-foot shark that lived during the Cenozoic Era ... but that's exactly what happened to scientist Giancarlo Thomae this week.
A group of marine biologists watched the new Syfy movie Mega-Shark vs. Mecha-Shark, which made them wonder what would happen if megalodon actually were alive today. Likely, it would be hunted to near-extinction for its fins — which would, they estimated, make 70,456 bowls of shark fin soup.
Shark fin soup is a traditional Chinese dish made from the cartilage found inside the fins of sharks. The growing demand for shark fins is one of the main drivers of the global decline in shark populations. One blogger wondered how much soup you can make from the fin of a single megalodon, so he did the math.
I'm not sure whether Shark Week was ever really a great moment in science communication with the public. But after last week's Megalodon special and fake shark facts on Discovery Channel, we know for sure that sharks have joined UFOs in the annals of Great Pseudoscience. Shark researcher David Shiffman breaks it down…