Bill Gates Wants 'Mosquito Week' To Replace 'Shark Week,' And Here's What This Would Mean For The World
Earlier this week, Bill Gates said we need Mosquito Week more than Shark Week — which, counter-intuitive as it sounds, is actually not such a whacky concept. True, Shark Week is more than an informative television series, it's an institution. But mosquitoes are pretty terrifying creatures themselves — in fact, they're the world's deadliest animals. Mosquitoes cause 25,000 deaths a year, a higher number even than all the deaths caused by other humans.
Yes, the tiny, vicious little vampires are way scarier than the sea-bound carnivores — but scarier still is a world in which Shark Week has been replaced by Mosquito Week.
Writes Bill Gates:
There are more than 2,500 species of mosquito, and they’re found in every region of the world except Antarctica. During the peak breeding seasons, they outnumber every other animal on Earth, except termites and ants. Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time.
So this week, on his website, Bill Gates will be providing readers with information about the deadly insect, via interviews, ways to combat the disease, and more. But replacing Shark Week? The worldwide phenomenon broadcast in 72 countries, which began as a week-long TV focus in the late 80s?
Let's take a minute to consider the consequences.
1. Suddenly, the Mosquito is the Super-Villain in Every Disney/Apocalypse/Johnny-Depp-Mistake Movie
From Jaws to Finding Nemo, the shark has always been the go-to evil character. But with the arrival of Mosquito Week, we can expect a new baddie on the scene. Yes, he might be tiny, but he'll be voiced by someone with an awe-inspiring voice/terrifying voice (Jeremy Irons, anyone?).
2. Mosquito Puns Dominating Headlines
During Shark Week, articles about sharks in pop culture, sharks in real life, shark deaths, shark food — basically, anything shark — tend to take over much of the news world. And these articles are filled with puns, be they good, bad, or just plain awkward. So we can expect a lot of "blood-sucking" and "bite" puns to be made during Mosquito week.
3. The Launch of Mosquitorunners
On the 20th anniversary of Shark Week, the Sharkrunners video game was launched. The game uses GPS and telemetry data from actual tagged sharks, so that your gaming experience involves the movement of real, live sharks in the Pacific Ocean. We expect a Mosquitorunners version that would track the millions of iddy-biddy mosquitos buzzing...everywhere. Which you get to squash, satisfyingly.
4. The New Hashtag, #Mosquitofact
Perhaps one of the less dramatic of consequences, the instituting of Mosquito Week in place of Shark Week would see the launch of the new hashtag, #Mosquitofact instead of #Sharkfact. So, instead of being filled with exciting info about the sea world, it would likely just have tips about the sad, pointless lives the irritating little insects lead. Pass.
5. Depressing, Mosquito Week Drinking Games
One of the most wondrous things about Shark Week is that it allows you to escape from the oppressive heat of the summer by imagining that you are under the water, swimming away from various forms of fish, possibly with someone English and expertly at your side. Many creative drinking games that aid in this imaginative escape have thus been created for Shark week, but Mosquito Week drinking games? Shudder.