Shark Week attacks August 1 with Ultimate Air Jaws

Shark Week celebrates its 23rd anniversary this Sunday. The Discovery Channel's Shark Week starts with the "Ultimate Air Jaws" premiere at 9 PM.

Geoff Spiby/Newscom
A shark leaps out of the water off the coast of South Africa in March at Seal Island in False Bay. Shark Week on the Discovery Channel starts on Aug. 1.
A close-up of a great white shark's mouth is seen here off the coast of South Africa. Shark Week's "Into the Shark Bite" will feature shots of shark attacks from inside the shark's mouths, shot with mini-HD cameras.

As the Discovery Channel says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

That's right, it's Shark Week! Cue "Jaws" theme song here.

If you've been feeling a void after the Deadliest Catch season finale and emotionally drained after the Phil Harris tribute, don't fear, Shark Week is here! And at Discovery Channel's website you can send a "Happy Shark Week" card to your loved ones to remind them.

IN PICTURES: Sharks rule

Chompie, the inflatable shark, is gracing Discovery's headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., and the 23rd annual Shark Week is set to kick off at 9 PM on Sunday.

You'll want to have your snacks planned and ready ahead of time: this is like a nerdy version of the Super Bowl. The Daily Beast notes that the last three Shark Weeks were the three most watched ever, averaging a cumulative viewership of 27.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.

Shark Week kicks off with "Ultimate Air Jaws," which features with massive great whites exploding from the water in a sneak attack on their seal prey. Videographers will be experimenting with different techniques to better capture Air Jaws. Though the sharks in-flight time can be less than a second, a great white shark can propel itself up to 10 feet into the air.

Or if you happen to be in South Africa, you can go on Shark Adventures in False Bay by Seal Island and see sharks breaching for yourself. Keep in mind this is likely slightly more expensive than sitting at home on your couch. But it might be worth it, "Scientists have acknowledged that great white sharks behave differently in False Bay at Seal Island, than anywhere along the South African coastline," the Shark Adventures website reads. The topographic structure of the island makes it an ideal place for shark "flying."

Also on Sunday, "Into the Shark Bite," premieres after Air Jaws, where Discovery will show close up views of a shark's bite. Shark expert Mark Addison and underwater cameraman Andy Casagrande use mini-HD cameras to show you what a shark bite is like, from inside the shark's mouth. Dare we say jaw dropping?

If Sunday seems like years away and you're just too antsy to contain yourself, count down Discovery's Top 100 Shark Facts.

Like Shark Fact #84: "Sharks may seem like a permanent part of the ocean, but according to the World Conservation Union, 20 percent of sharks are close to extinction. The main culprit? Commercial fisheries accidentally catching sharks on their hooks and nets."

Think about that if one of your Shark Week snacks is sushi.

One last thing, don't forget to Shark yourself.


IN PICTURES: Sharks rule

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