When Is Shark Week 2016? Discovery Channel's Epic Event Dedicated to Our Favorite Fish

A shark swimming close to the sea surface level

Shark Week matters to a lot of people — so much so that it's spawned scores of promotional goods, memes and no small degree of anticipation for its annual debut. There's even a dedicated website called When Is Shark Week, which dutifully offers a running countdown to the next Shark Week kickoff. Television network and Shark Week host Discovery Channel has yet to announce the exact start date, but according to the fan site, it could happen in June. When Is Shark Week.com counts 109 days until the premiere, thought that's an estimate.

It's hard to pinpoint the cultural obsession with Shark Week. Yet as one user on Reddit poignantly described, "Shark Week is like America's Lil' Sebastian."  

Read more: This "Accidentally Caught" Great White Shark Just Died in a Japanese Aquarium
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"Who doesn't love a show about one of the world's most mysterious creatures?" asked another user. "It's a whole week of it and it's fucking awesome." The comments were posted in a thread dedicated to untangling what draws us to the weeklong fish frenzy.

In July, Deadline reported that the annual week of shark footage captivated an average of 2.5  million viewers between July 5 and July 12. Though viewership in 2015 climbed 1%, last year's sizable audience was Discovery Channel's second largest on record, trailing 2013's 2.6 million viewers. 

To stay abreast of Shark Week updates, check out the Discovery Channel online, which offers shark videos, facts and games related to sharks to tide us over until the week is upon us.