Fans of Discovery's Shark Week were thrilled when they found out Michael Phelps was racing a great white shark on Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White. The widely publicized race garnered lots of attention on social media boards and was a trending topic on Twitter.
Unfortunately for Discovery, most of the viewer feedback from the show was that of frustration. It seems that many viewers thought Phelps was going to literally race a great white shark. But the behavioral ecologist leeding the experiment, Dr. Tristan Guttridge, disappointed thousands when he said, "Clearly we can't put Michael in one lane and a white shark on the far lane. We have to do simulation."
Researchers performed a few experiments in order to gather shark data and then formulated a simulation. The race was actually Phelps swimming in the open ocean while a CGI shark swam alongside him.
Considering a great white can swim 25 miles per hour and Phelps' fastest recorded speed is 6 mph, it wasn't all that surprising Phelps lost to the shark -- even while wearing a sharkskin suit and modified monofin.
Despite the the frustration for some, it was still impressive to watch the most decorated Olympic athlete take on one nature's most notorious predators. Even if they were just CGI.