Our biggest athletes have prolonged sought to exam their skills opposite counterparts from a animal kingdom. Multi-sport star Jim Thorpe once wrestled a playground bear. Track idol Jesse Owens frequently lined adult opposite foe horses. Muhammad Ali once fought Eddie “The Animal” Lopez.
Now, a Discovery Channel is bringing us a ultimate male vs. savage competition: Headlining a opening night lineup of a annual summer array Shark Week, a network interconnected 23-time Olympic bullion medalist Michael Phelps in a foe opposite a Great White Shark in Phelps Vs. Shark: The Battle for Ocean Supremacy.
Discovery is doing a partial to boost a amour surrounding this oddity of an event. In one promo, a anecdotist informs us that “One lerned to be a best given a day he was born. The other has been polished by evolution,” amid footage of Phelps plowing by a H2O and a Great White rising itself during a seal.
It’s positively interesting bait, though one that immediately sets off a proof alarm in a brain. A small investigate reveals that a Great White can strech a speed of 25 mph, while Phelps, on his best of days, has surfaced out during 6 mph in a water. Is there any approach this can be a satisfactory fight? And furthermore, isn’t this whole try only a small bit dangerous? Are we about to find out that a dear Olympic champion has met his finish as a consort for a good torpedo of a deep?
To understanding with a initial question, this can be a satisfactory quarrel if we box a furious shark into a human-constructed parameters of competition, and give Phelps a boost to assistance turn a personification field.
For starters, while it’s loyal that a Great White can rev adult 25 mph, it does so in bursts. Scientists trustworthy to a plan have estimated that over a march of a designed 100-meter race, a shark would strech a solid gait of maybe 16 mph.
Second, Phelps has been propitious with a special monofin that allows him to beget some-more underwater torque with his feet and boost his speed to 12 mph. And positively inspires him to sing The Little Mermaid songs when he’s perplexing it out in private.
Third, and this might seem a small obvious, though a shark is not used to “racing,” and as such doesn’t indispensably float in a true line. So even if we get Phelps and his competition withdrawal from a starting indicate during roughly a same time and covering 100 meters together, a shark is going to be zigzagging to varying degrees.
And finally, we have a Phelps Face. Really, you’re going to gamble opposite that?
As for a risk aspect, Phelps has suggested that he was not swimming directly subsequent a insatiable nautical beast, as one would do in a normal race, and that there were a good 15 reserve divers around to yield a distraction, if necessary. And really, a practice was in partial to diffuse some of a shark misconceptions that have persisted given Jaws; namely, that these creatures spend their time tracking us from a sea floor, like underwater boogeymen. This indicate is driven home in another array special, Shark School with Michael Phelps, in that he frolics alongside other class to uncover how pacific and extraordinary these creatures can be.
But hey, while we’re all for fostering assent with a unlikely friends, we unequivocally wish to see a race. Will Phelps extend his swimming prevalence to a sea and arrangement a poise over a creations like a real-life Aqua Man? Or will a shark reject that plea with an fatiguing “Not in my house, monofin boy!” It’s adequate to fill a gills with silly anticipation.
‘Phelps Vs. Shark: The Battle for Ocean Supremacy’ front on Jul 23 during 8pm on Discovery.