How Scientifically Accurate Are The Sharks In ‘Meg 2: The Trench’?

The new monster action flick plays fast and loose with ancient shark science, but this megalodon researcher doesn’t mind that much.

A giant shark staring right at a man in a diving suit
Credit: Warner Bros

Listen to Universe of Art on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn, or your favorite podcasting app. Read this episode’s transcript here.

“Meg 2: The Trench” is the sequel to the 2018 movie “The Meg,” in which a team of ocean scientists discover a megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived, thriving at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Megalodon went extinct over 2.6 million years ago … or so the movie’s characters thought.

When the team’s research sub gets damaged, a skilled rescue diver, played by Jason Statham, is brought in, who happened to have encountered the same megalodon years earlier. Over the course of the movie, the team discovers how this long-thought extinct apex predator survived, and what they can do to stop it before it wreaks havoc on the surface world.

“Meg 2: The Trench” largely follows in that movie’s footsteps, but this time, it features not just one, but multiple megalodons. Oh, and they’re even bigger this time. 

Universe of Art host D. Peterschmidt chats with Dr. Sora Kim, an associate professor of paleoecology at University of California, Merced, about what science the movie got wrong (and right) and how these over-the-top blockbusters can inspire the scientists of the future.

Universe of Art is hosted and produced by D. Peterschmidt, who also wrote the music. Our show art was illustrated by Abelle Hayford. Support for Science Friday’s science and arts coverage comes from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

Do you have an idea for a future episode of Universe of Art? Send us an email or a voice memo to

Meet the Writer

About D. Peterschmidt

D. Peterschmidt is a producer, host of the podcast Universe of Art, and composes music for Science Friday’s podcasts. Their D&D character is a clumsy bard named Chip Chap Chopman.

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