With the launch of the 26th anniversary of annual “Shark Week” on August 4, 2013, the Discovery Channel has taken to a more comedic approach. It’s one of Discovery Channel’s most popular summer series that covers the underwater predator’s feeding frenzies and habits, as well as true accounts of shark encounters.

“It’s a pop culture phenomenon, first and foremost. And it’s evolved into that,” Discovery’s Senior Director of Development, Michael Sorensen, told U.S. News & World Report. “It’s time for us to embrace the pop culture of it and that means embracing the humor.”

Recently, the attacks back in 2010 that occurred in the Red Sea have gotten attention, notably because the shark bit pieces of its victims’ buttocks off, which has become the butt of many jokes. The reports on a series of shark attacks were both funny and fearful. The attacks left researchers puzzled and drove fear into those staying at locations near the incidents of these shark attacks. Sharks had been attacking the buttocks of people in tourist hotspots with unprecedented frequency. Experts, however, were unable to identify the type of shark due to the ambiguous teeth marks left behind in three out of the four gruesome attacks.

Before the 2010 series of shark attacks on humans’ buttocks, there had been only 13 attacks in the Red Sea in the last 20 years. When four people were attacked within hours and days of one another, experts knew that they were looking at one or two sharks; they just didn’t know which ones. The marks were hard to identify because of the jaw width and location of the bite. But it was imperative that they find the culprit quickly, as three out of the four victims had large chunks of their buttocks bitten off, and one of the victims had died due to the attack.

Video footage and accounts of specific fin markings led experts to discover the oceanic whitetip shark’s invasion into the shallow people-populated shores. The oceanic whitetip shark almost never goes into waters less than 500-feet deep. And so, researchers scrambled to figure out the reason behind their attacks. After capturing and killing two of the nearly eight-foot-long predators, they realized that it may have just been the sharks' bold nature and keen ability to sense blood.

Sharks can sense a single drop of blood in an Olympic-size swimming pool, and the oceanic whitetip has been known for its adept skill as a hunter.

“Most sharks are very, very shy of anything that’s not immediately familiar to them as a prey item, but oceanic whitetips perhaps have to investigate potential food items with more urgency than a shark that has a territory along a specific stretch of reef,” Ali Hood, the director of conservation for the Shark Trust, told The Guardian. “But these sharks have a history of being a danger to people who are in the water for a long, long time.”

The attacks primarily happened to snorkelers, people who often stay admiring a coral reef and the bright fish adorning the ocean floor for long periods at a time. This behavior could have attracted the oceanic whitetip sharks, something that Shark Week explains to its large viewership. The 2013 premiere attracted 4.8 million viewers, which stands as the highest-rated and most-watched episode of Shark Week to date.