Man Vs. Shark
This week marks the 77th annual “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel. I love Shark Week, don’t know why, I guess maybe it is because I find sharks to be fascinating. What I find to be fascinating this year, is the amazing ability of human beings to be incredibly stupid!
This year, Discovery Channel kicked of Shark Week with a swimming race featuring Olympic champion Michael Phelps against a Great White Shark. The promotions for this “race” in no way tried to indicate that Michael would actually be in the water with a Great White Shark. It was clear to me that the race would be some kind of simulation.
I found the show to be fascinating. They used several sophisticated methods to determine how fast a shark can swim, something not previously explored scientifically, and then established a mark for Phelps to attain in order to “theoretically” out swim a shark.
They did give Michael a little assistance in the form of a super sleek swim suit and a large prosthetic tail fin. In order to win, Michael had to swim 100 meters in 36 seconds. The show then filmed Michael swimming next to a simulated shark in a simulated lane. Michael “lost” the race by two seconds.
I thought it was fun stuff, well done; but then I did not expect a real side by side race. Apparently, the internet disagreed.
Twitter lit up with complaints that the race was not real. People bemoaned the fact that they wasted an hour of their lives watching a bogus race.
What balloon headed ignoramuses expected Phelps to swim in the water against a real live Great White Shark? Did they think Michael would be in the starting blocks and the Great White would be in a racehorse-like starting gate, ready to swim after a seal on a rope ala greyhound races?
Well I guess that would have made great TV.
“On you mark…get set…CHOMP”