Starting Sunday, Aug. 12, Discovery Channel will unleash yet again the pop culture phenomenon known as "Shark Week." 


Launched in 1988, this year's event is celebrating its 25th year anniversary, with new specials such as "Shark Week's 25 Best Bites," which will "look back at the greatest breaches, brushes, and bites with the ocean's apex predator."


Unlike last year's celebrity host with comedian Andy Samberg, Discovery is taking programming in a more social direction — with YouTube sensation Philip DeFranco at the helm. Every night, DeFranco will tally votes on what items should be crushed by a massive mechanical megalodon shark. For those not familiar with the creature, it existed some 1.5 million years ago and reaches lengths in excess of 52 feet!


From the release: 


"Philip DeFranco, of 'The Philip DeFranco Show' on Revision3 will host the nightly event, asking people to Tweet their votes using hashtags that will appear on the screen and to vote through a live poll on Facebook. The results will be tabulated and the item garnering the most votes that night will fall victim to the shark's 6" long razor-sharp teeth and crushed to bits for all the country to see."


Additional programming includes specials such as the always entertaining "Air Jaws," "Sharkzilla" (which will profile the Mythbusters team building and testing the robotic Megalodon), and "How 'Jaws' Changed The World" (a look at the classic horror film and its impact on sharks, special effects, and the art of moviemaking.) 


You can see Discovery's full Shark Week lineup here. Check out a promo for the event below. 


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Shark Week 2012 to celebrate 25 years
Discovery Channel's massively popular week-long event to feature new social media participation.