Was The Shark in “The Meg” Realistic?

The movie “The Meg,” released in 2018, brought the prehistoric shark, megalodon, back to life on the silver screen. The film sparked a wave of interest and curiosity about this ancient sea creature. But was the depiction of the megalodon in “The Meg” realistic? Let’s dive into the depths of this question.

Megalodon: A Brief Overview

The megalodon, often referred to as “meg,” was indeed a real shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago. It is considered one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history. However, the exact size of the megalodon remains a topic of debate among scientists. Some estimates suggest it could have been up to 60 feet long, making it significantly larger than the great white shark, which typically measures around 15 to 20 feet in length.

The Megalodon in “The Meg”

In “The Meg,” the megalodon is portrayed as an enormous, terrifying creature capable of causing immense destruction. Its size in the movie is exaggerated, with the shark depicted as being nearly 75 feet long, considerably larger than most scientific estimates for the actual size of the megalodon. While this certainly added to the thrill factor, it deviated from the accurate megalodon size based on fossil evidence.

Another aspect where the movie took creative liberties was the megalodon’s appearance. In reality, we don’t have a complete picture of what the megalodon looked like because sharks’ bodies are composed largely of cartilage, which doesn’t fossilize well. We mostly have fossilized teeth and a few vertebrae to base our knowledge on. Therefore, the megalodon’s appearance in “The Meg” is largely speculative.

Is “The Meg” Scary?

The fear factor of “The Meg” largely depends on individual viewers. The movie uses suspense and the sheer size of the megalodon to create a sense of terror. However, it’s important to remember that the megalodon is extinct, and there’s no scientific evidence to suggest otherwise. So while the movie might be scary, the prospect of encountering a megalodon in real life isn’t something we need to worry about.

Megalodon Movies

“The Meg” is not the only movie to feature the megalodon. Other films, like the 2004 release “Megalodon,” also revolve around this prehistoric shark. These movies often play up the size and ferocity of the megalodon for dramatic effect, further fueling public interest in this extinct creature. If you’re interested in similar movies, you might want to check out other shark-themed films like “Jaws” or “Deep Blue Sea.”


In conclusion, while “The Meg” was an entertaining film that sparked renewed interest in the megalodon, its portrayal of this prehistoric shark wasn’t entirely accurate. The size and appearance of the megalodon in the movie were exaggerated for dramatic effect. However, the megalodon was indeed a real shark, and its actual size was likely impressive enough without the need for Hollywood embellishment.

So, if you’re wondering what the megalodon would look like in real life, imagine a great white shark, but significantly larger and potentially more formidable. But remember, despite the thrilling portrayals in movies like “The Meg,” the megalodon is long extinct. So, while we can enjoy these cinematic representations, there’s no need to fear a real-life encounter with this prehistoric predator.


  • “The Meg.” Dir. Jon Turteltaub. Warner Bros., 2018. Film.
  • “Megalodon.” Dir. Pat Corbitt. Lionsgate, 2004. Film.

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