Back in 1918, David Stead, an Australian naturalist, reported how local fishermen were refusing to venture back out to sea after a 100 ft-long pure white shark had demolished their gear and taken their catch. Couldn't they have evolved to go deep instead of being rendered extinct? All of which explains the feeding frenzy of speculation on internet sites such as Twitter and YouTube, where numerous videos have been uploaded with titles including 'Seven real megalodon sightings caught on camera' and 'Evidence that megalodon is not extinct.'. After all, scientists have been prompted by recent discoveries to create a whole new category for creatures that we thought were extinct, but turn out to be alive still. Sadly, for Jaws fans, but happily for swimmers, when it come to megalodon, the scientific consensus seems to be a clear 'no'. Most damningly, megalodon would have to cope with the freezing temperatures found at these depths, and it evolved exclusively as a warm-water species. But in 1938 it was discovered alive off the coast of South Africa. And we already have proof that huge marine creatures can remain largely unknown to us for centuries. So, as shark hunter Quint in Jaws didn't quite say: 'We're not going to need a bigger boat after all.' Of course, if this movie were more true to life, the characters playing scientists would surely be set on safeguarding any creature that had survived millennia for the purposes of research. The creatures are thought to have become extinct some two to three million years ago, due to climate change, a decline in prey, the advent of rival predators such as killer whales, or a combination of all three. So, if these giants can lurk unseen for millennia, surely the same is true of megalodon? A little less deep, at around 13,000 ft, more substantial deep-sea fish such as lanternfish begin to emerge — but again too small. The comments below have not been moderated. And as recently as 2012, shark researchers interviewed a group of South African fisherman who claimed a huge shark, at least as big as their 40 ft-long boat, was terrorising their area. Not for me': Trump says election winner SHOULD be known tonight but admits his team IS preparing for legal challenges that could drag out results, Trump cuts guest list at his planned party inside White House from 400 to 250 saying he'll 'maybe' address the nation - as Biden prepares podium in Wilmington, Solar system puts on a show: All seven planets will be visible in the night sky this week - and you'll be able to see five of them with the naked eye, Troops roll into the battlegrounds: National Guard arrive in Philadelphia and Chicago as Illinois Gov. An army of 'megalodon believers' have come out in full force on social media after the release of The Meg (pictured, a scene from the film). They wouldn't even count as a snack for megalodon. Real scientists, they say, refuse to admit these sharks are still out there because if their existence were known, they would be hunted into proper extinction. Before we tackle that question, let's assess what we know about megalodon. Play it now. But in 1938 it was discovered alive off the coast of South Africa. Crucially for conspiracy theorists, the Trench was fully formed more than 1.5 million years ago, when megalodon are believed to have disappeared. 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Indeed, that is the conspiracy theory nurtured by the legion of 'megalodon believers' who have emerged on social media, in chat rooms and on forums, since the film opened. Then, in 1925, came the first evidence in the form of two tentacles found in a sperm whale's stomach. THE MEGALODON SHARK IS SET TO APPEAR IN THE NEWLY CONSTRUCTED HELL'S AQUARIUM!!! 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So, could a killer shark three times as big as the biggest great white be lurking in the deepest depths and devouring prey, including seals, other sharks and whales, with its razor-sharp 6 in teeth? It was only in 1976 that the incredible megamouth shark was discovered when one became entangled in cables dangling from a U.S. navy research vessel in Hawaii. It is only in the past 40 years that bodies of entire creatures have been found. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. Capable of growing 18 ft in length, with a bulbous head, giant mouth and tiny teeth, it feeds on tiny creatures filtered through sea water. It's known as the 'Lazarus taxonomy' and the coelacanth is the most famous example. for centuries scientists have believed that the giant shark known as megalodon has been extinct. This 1,500-mile-long canyon in the Earth's crust is more than 35,000 ft deep — 6,000 ft greater than Mount Everest — and is the deepest point in the world's oceans. As for physical evidence, a deep-sea dredging expedition in 1875 by the Royal Navy corvette HMS Challenger pulled up a pair of megalodon teeth near Tahiti. Now, the reviews are in and the verdict is 'classic B-movie' fun, or, in the words of the Mail's critic, 'a film of heroic preposterousness'. The believers tend to agree on the location of megalodon's primary lair: the Mariana Trench in the Western Pacific. As for mysterious massive sharks, we know they exist. Girl, 3, is attacked by a fox that snuck into her house as... Gardener, 65, spends three and a half hours a DAY watering... 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Dining with death! The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. And then, according to Emma Bernard, who curates the Natural History Museum's fossil fish collection, there would surely be evidence of megalodon's existence in the form of bite marks on whales that survived attacks. Sadly, for Jaws fans, but happily for swimmers, when it come to megalodon, the scientific consensus seems to be a clear 'no'. The biggest to date was caught in 2007 off Antarctica. Certainly, the Trench is a good place to hide; pilots in submersiblets have only twice ventured nearly seven miles down to its furthest reaches, an area called the Challenger Deep, in 1960 and 2012. However, over the past century, a series of alarming sightings by seafarers has fostered the tantalising idea that surviving megalodon may still inhabit the darkest corners of our oceans. Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group, Joe puts the house on it! Farm Heroes Saga, the #4 Game on iTunes. Published: 19:56 EST, 12 August 2018 | Updated: 21:01 EST, 12 August 2018. You can't beat a good shark film, and expectations were high for The Meg, an attempt to out-Jaws Jaws with a 75 ft-long prehistoric denizen of the deep that rises to the ocean surface to launch a murderous spree. For megalodon to live somewhere such as the Mariana Trench, they would not only need to be able to survive at such depths and at immense pressures — 1,000 times greater than atmospheric pressure — but also to have access to food. Its corpse was 15 ft long and weighed 450kg, about the same as a grand piano. To find any decent-sized meal, it would have to come up to 8,000 ft, the deepest whales are known to dive. 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