While many Americans have been glued to the TV this week to celebrate the mystique of sharks, they can now honor the ocean predators at their local post offices, too.
The new Sharks Forever stamps debuted Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service announced in a statement. "To celebrate the wonder of sharks," the USPS said, the stamps will feature five species that inhabit American waters: the mako, thresher, great white, hammerhead and whale sharks.
The USPS said the campaign is also an effort to drum up support for the protection of marine life.
"While sharks may be scary to some, the prospect of a world without sharks is truly frightening," USPS Executive Vice President Jeffrey Williamson said. "We hope the stamps unveiled today help highlight the need for shark conservation and a greater respect and admiration for these incredible animals."
USPS said New York-based artist Sam Weber illustrated the striking images, using real photographs of the beasts for reference.
The mysterious image of the great white is based on a photograph by Norb Wu, Central California's KSBW reported. The underwater photographer told the station he snapped the photo off Mexico at Guadalupe Island, a world-renowned spot for sharks.
The issuing ceremony for the stamps will be held Wednesday morning in Kentucky at the Newport Aquarium, which has been celebrating Discovery Channel's infamous Shark Week with special events.
The aquarium's senior research scientist, Nicholas Whitney, spoke on the new postage.
“This Postal Service initiative is a great thrill for conservation-minded shark lovers everywhere,” Whitney said. “It should inspire everyone to support science-based management of these animals so that we can have sharks forever in our oceans, as well as on our envelopes.”