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July 19, 2006

Jump the shark — in Silver Spring, Maryland?


Above, what you'll see if you venture down to the Discovery Communications building in the Washington, D.C. suburb.

It's got "... a head 50 feet long and three stories high [and] a double row of leering triangular teeth...," wrote John Kelly in his column in today's Washington Post.

But why is it there?

I'm glad you asked.

The huge inflatable great white is there to mark the Discovery Channel's Shark Week, which begins Monday, July 30.

It took a year of planning and over six miles of stitched-together vinyl-coated nylon fabric to create the monster in California before it was packed aboard a truck and sent east.

There are actually a total of five pieces: in addition to the head there's a tail, a dorsal fin and two pectoral fins, attached to the Discovery Building's sides and roof in the appropriate relationship.

    Wrote Kelly:

    Two dozen workers from Hutchinson/United Rigging spent the weekend installing the shark with the help of a 230-foot crane. They used ropes and wires to attach the flaccid fish to anchors on the roof used by window washers.

    To passersby it might have looked at first as if giant gray Hefty bags were being lashed to the building. Then the air pumps were turned on — two run constantly for each part — and the shark took shape.


The shark is located at One Discovery Place in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland (tel: 240-662-2000; Metro: Silver Spring).

Directions and map here.

July 19, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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Brings back memories of when we called Discovery the "Shark and Nazi Channel." So glad their programming has expanded since then. I guess other cable channels have picked up the Nazi slack, but Discovery still trots out sharks a couple of times a year. The low point had to be when they talked Monster Garage into doing a shark cage boat -- and then couldn't find any sharks.

Posted by: Al Christensen | Jul 20, 2006 2:17:53 PM

I drove past that today!!!!!! Wheeee................

Posted by: Mb | Jul 19, 2006 10:12:26 PM

What a shame they couldn't find black rope with which to suspend it.

Posted by: Skipweasel | Jul 19, 2006 4:04:42 PM

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