Michael Phelps didn’t actually race a real shark on TV, and viewers aren’t

Remember back in December 2014, when Discovery Channel hyped that a man would be eaten and then regurgitated by a giant snake on a special called “Eaten Alive?” Then that didn’t actually happen, and viewers were furious?

We bring this up because 57 minutes into Discovery’s heavily promoted Sunday night Shark Week program — in which Olympic powerhouse swimmer Michael Phelps was set to race against a great white shark — viewers heard this quote from ecologist Tristan Gutteridge, one the featured scientists:

“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.”

Hold on. So Phelps wasn’t going to actually race a shark in a TV event titled “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White”?! Why was the hour-long special billed as such?

While common sense probably could have saved any disappointment — along with preshow interviews where Phelps assured everyone that he wouldn’t really race next to a shark in open water — many viewers were not pleased.

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Chad & Leslye

Chad & Leslye

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