Ever since the 1975 release of Jaws, sharks have had a controversial reputation among the general public.
Even though they are a creature that most people will never encounter in their lifetimes, they are something that a lot of people are afraid of.
But as any shark lover will tell you, they are one of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet.
The best way to understand just how special sharks are is to watch a documentary about them. In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best shark documentaries ever made.
So, if you want to find out more, keep on reading!
Blue Water: White Death (1971)
Let’s kick this off with the oldest documentary on this list. Released in 1971, Blue Water: White Death is an absolute classic, and it really is one of the best shark documentaries ever made.
It is based in South Africa, and was filmed in 1969, following a movie crew who set out to film the Great White Shark underwater.
It is one of the best nature documentaries ever made, and a must-watch if you are interested in sharks.
Shark Dive (2015)
Shark Dive was made by camera man Andy Brandy Casagrande, who had already won 2 Emmys for his work with sharks before making this documentary.
This documentary is unique because it is almost entirely filmed underwater, giving you a true perspective of what a shark’s life is like. If you want to get up close and personal with a shark, this is the documentary for you.
Playing With Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story (2021)
The launch of Disney+ has brought with it lots of great TV shows, and movies, but what it has also brought is lots of great documentaries too.
One of which is “Playing with Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story”. Valerie Taylor has spent her life trying to dispel all the myths associated with sharks, and this documentary is just the next installment in her story.
A must-watch if you want to beat your fear of sharks.
Shark Nation (2013)
Shark Nation is a documentary that really highlights the plight of sharks in recent years.
As any shark enthusiast will know, the number of sharks that exist has dwindled, and there are many areas where their populations have shrunk significantly.
However, there is one area where sharks are still a part of a healthy ecosystem, and that is the focus of this documentary.
This is Your Ocean: Sharks (2012)
Another documentary that sets out to show that sharks aren’t as scary as they seem is This is Your Ocean: Sharks.
Released in 2012, this documentary follows 3 marine life experts who want to show how overfishing can damage shark populations.
It also sets out to prove just how smart sharks are, and even demonstrates how sharks can bond with humans. It is definitely one to watch.
Shark Girl (2014)
As the name suggests, this documentary focuses on one girl and her love for sharks. Shark Girl follows a then 20-year-old Madison Stewart, who had the pleasure of growing up near the Great Barrier Reef.
As she grew, Madison spent a lot of time diving into shark-infested waters, and she has a very special relationship with these sharks.
Like many of these documentaries, Shark Girl focuses on the dwindling shark population, and Madison’s mission to save them.
21st Century Shark (2008)
There are lots of different species of shark, and the tiger shark is the focus of 21st Century Shark.
Tiger sharks are one of the main species of shark that people view as dangerous, but this documentary highlights how dangerous humanity actually is for these sharks.
Environmental pressures are causing these sharks to lose their lives, and this documentary highlights this, while also highlighting how scary sharks can actually be.
Shark Water: Extinction (2018)
Shark Water: Extinction is a sequel to the 2006 documentary, Shark Water. Both documentaries were written and directed by Rob Stewart.
However, Shark Water: Extinction had to be completed by the Robert Stewart foundation, following Stewart’s death in a diving accident in January 2017.
It focuses on the illegal fishing industry, and how this is impacting the shark populations. It is also a final tribute to the filmmaker himself.
Mystery at Shark Beach (2013)
This next documentary is totally unique to the others on this list. Mystery at Shark Beach was released in 2013, and focuses on the danger that sharks can pose for humans.
This documentary is set on Port St Johns’ Second Beach where there were a series of shark attacks, all fatal.
In Mystery at Shark Beach, shark biologist Dr. Matt Dickens sets out to find out what has caused this to happen at this beach, and learn more about the sharks that reside here.
As we have said, it is totally unique, and definitely one to watch if you want to learn more about how dangerous sharks can be.
Finally, let’s wrap this up with Fin. Fin is a relatively new documentary, first released in 2021 on Discovery+.
The Discovery Channel has produced some of the best nature documentaries in the world, so there really is no surprise that this documentary is incredible too.
Directed by Eli Roth, this documentary exposes the criminal enterprise that is causing hundreds of sharks to be murdered.
With researchers and activists involved, this documentary is full of knowledge, and it is truly eye opening to see that humans pose just as big a threat to sharks, as sharks do to humans.
In short, this guide has been packed with 10 of the best shark documentaries ever made. These documentaries are all different because they focus on different things about sharks.
But one message that unites them all is that humans can be just as dangerous to sharks, as sharks can to humans. These documentaries highlight just how much the shark population has suffered at the hands of humans.
Thank you for reading!