Shark Week: Michael Phelps
For a special of Shark Week, titled “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White,” the olympic medalist swimmer was set to race a great white shark in a lap pool. Viewers have been excited for this race and promoters of Shark Week having been hyping it up for a while now. However, they shouldn’t have done that considering the shark was actually a stimulator.
A scientist wrote a statement about how it was clear that racing a shark in the lap pool was never going to happen. One of the featured scientists, ecologist Tristan Gutteridge said,“Clearly, we can’t put Michael in one lane and a white shark on the far lane. We’re gonna have to do a simulation.”
Viewers have been taking to social media to express their disappointment. One tweeter said, “I honestly feel so robbed that I just watched an hour of a stupid show to see Michael Phelps race a FAKE shark. #fakenews.”
During the episode, Gutteridge gathered information about the speed of sharks. Instead of Phelps racing against a real life shark, this gathered information transformed into a Shark Computer-generated-image of a shark with a similar speed. Unfortunately, Phelps didn’t even win the race after all this. The stimulated shark swam a distance of 100 meters in 36.1 seconds. Phelps, on the other hand, took 38.1 seconds to swim the same distance, and was even in a special wet suit and monofin that closed his feet together.
Even though it was a sincere effort by the scientists, viewers are still unhappy with the final result. However, Phelps was not very disappointed and actually said that he expected the loss considering the recorded speed of the CGI shark. “Honestly, the first thought that went through my head when I saw the shark, there’s probably very little chance for me to beat him,” he said.
Clearly, it’s impossible to trust Discovery when it comes to Animal Vs. Beast competitions.