Tintin and the Lake of Sharks

Dossier ~ Tuesday 21st November 2017

You will not find any sharks at Marlinspike Hall! But this great predator is very present in Tintin's adventures, including in the titles. And sharks are a theme of the unique animation film made in 1972 by Belvision studios: Tintin and the Lake of Sharks.

On several occasions Tintin is confronted with the great predator of the seas: the shark (see Tintin in the Congo, Cigars of the Pharaoh or Red Rackham’s Treasure)! The shark also appears briefly in The Red Sea Sharks. Maybe it deserves its bad reputation, but not enough to have the species threatened.

Tintin in the Congo

To quote one of our most energetic fans (fictitious name), it is true that "in the animal world of Hergé, the shark is at the bottom of the negative scale, as evidenced by this commentary by Jean-Marie Apostilidès "The Metamorphoses of Tintin": "In the animal species, it occupies the same position as the great criminals in the human species. Hergé created in his work a true mythology of the shark, just as there is one of the giant octopuses in the novels of Victor Hugo or Jules Verne.
The shark is the devouring machine par excellence, his small eyes, his turned-up nose, his chinless face; his sharp teeth predispose him to typify terrifying violence and fear. He appears many times in the adventures, Tintin in the Congo, Cigars of the Pharaoh, The Crab with the Golden Claws, Red Rackham’s Treasure, and The Red Sea Sharks. Each time, the sharks attack the innocents as the culprits. At the end of The Red Sea Sharks, we learn that Rastapopoulos was eaten by sharks in the Red Sea, but that's not true: sharks do not eat each other."

The Red Sea Sharks
Red Rackham’s Treasure

Our web reporter Fred Buyle sent us this message in a bottle by the tides of the sea; it came to us with a message of friendship about this erratic traveler that is the white shark.

2017 © Fred Buyle
2017 © Fred Buyle

From our special envoy Fred Buyle, from the island of Guadalupe, Mexico!

The island is a biosphere reserve on which all access is forbidden except for scientist who are allowed to conduct investigations. In the clear waters surrounding the island we can find the world’s largest aggregation of great white sharks.

Every year since 2009 Fred helps Dr Mauricio Hoyos, a Mexican scientist specialist of that mythical animal, to place beacons of the great white sharks to be able to track their migrations and learn more about their daily habits.

To place the beacons of the sharks freedving is the best way to proceed, indeed the scuba divers making bubbles have a tendency to scare away the white sharks making the task more difficult.

Although the white shark was the main character of the movie « Jaws », it isn’t the sea monster often depicted in the media. It’s an endangered species who has more the fear from humans than we have to fear from him.

Just to give you an idea of its adult size, it has the same dimensions than Professor Calculus shark submarine!

2017 © Fred Buyle
2017 © Fred Buyle

Technical sheet on the white shark:
Name: Carcharodon carcharias - synonym: Squalus carcharias
Size: 4 to 6 m long
Number of teeth: 44 to 52 teeth (teeth size +/- 7cm)
Weight: > 1 ton

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