Does Megalodon Still Exist? 'Shark Week' Explores Fact Vs. Fiction About Giant Fish

Imagine a 60-foot shark coming at you with a bite so powerful it would put even a Tyrannosaurus rex to shame. Terrifying, right?

Well, there was a time, millions of years ago, when such a species roamed the deep blue sea, and Shark Week experts will investigate how the colossal-size shark would have dominated today's oceans when Discovery Channel airs Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction on Friday.

The Megalodon shark—scientific name Carcharodon megalodon—was bigger than any great white shark to swim the ocean. Scientists still debate the exact size of the ancient beast, but it's commonly believed the Megalodon could grow anywhere between 40 to 70 feet, nearly four times as big as the great white shark, which can be anywhere between 15 to 20 feet long.

The prehistoric fish ruled the waters from about 16 million to 2 million years ago, according to Live Science, but reasons behind its extinction remain unclear. Archeologists have recovered Megalodon fossil teeth over the years but nothing substantial enough to confirm how the species died out.

There are still some who believe the shark actually still exists. This is likely the leading factor behind Shark Week's latest exploration, Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction. During the hour-long spot, shark experts will re-examine research used in the original "dramatized" Shark Week documentary, Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, which premiered in 2013.

In the original doc, actors pretending to be scientists hunted a 67-foot-long shark they believed to be still swimming the coasts of South Africa. The new Megalodon show will see the scientists returning to the research collected over the years and trying to determine how Megalodon would live, hunt and coexists with the many species of the sea in today's waters.

The show is set to premiere on the Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.

Megalodon Fact vs. Fiction
One of the world’s largest set of shark jaws, comprised of about 180 fossil teeth and from the prehistoric species Carcharocles megalodon, which grew to the size of a school bus, is displayed at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, on September 30, 2009. Ethan Miller/Getty Images