Why do we love "Shark Week" so much?

ExploreMore popular and trending stories

It's back!!! "Shark Week" is returning to The Discovery Channel for another year and the excitement is building up ahead of Sunday's kickoff.

The network has done plenty of work letting viewers know its popular, week-long series is back, including this promo featuring actor Rob Lowe riding two sharks in the water.

And plenty of news outlets are noticing it, too, posting different stories about ways to celebrate with different foods and even some handy shark trivia. (Via International Business TimesTampa Bay TimesThe Oregonian)

So why do we love "Shark Week" so much?

Well, according to Time, sharks simply fascinate us: "Sharks are still being used to lure us into shops and TV shows and movies that we should probably know better than to watch."

Recently, "Sharknado 2: The Second One" scored great ratings success for the Syfy network, despite it purposely being a "bad" movie. That could be considered a recent example of such fascination — especially with all the hype leading up to it.

"Shark Week" also got big ratings last year. The Washington Business Journal calls the long-running series a "killer." Last year was its best year since the series started in the '80s, with more than 53 million viewers tuning in.

But there are also those who don't necessarily think the shows are successful for the right reasons.

The director for the Florida Program for Shark Research told USA Today: "I'm afraid that the programs have gone more to entertainment and less to documentary over the years. It's kind of a shame, because they have the opportunity to teach good stuff in what's going on with science."

Discovery is also using "Shark Week" as an opportunity to draw attention to shark preservation and the negative aspects of what could happen to our oceans if sharks were no longer around.

Regardless of how you feel about it, "Shark Week" kicks off on The Discovery Channel Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern.