Recently, the Discovery Channel staged a race between 28-time Olympic-medal winner Michael Phelps and a CGI shark.
George Buress, the director for the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History and contributer to SharkFest, explains what would have happened to Phelps if he’d been next to a real shark. Following is a transcript of the video.
You certainly don’t wanna get in the water if you see a shark.
My name is George Buress. I serve as the director for the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum, which is part of the University of Florida.
Michael Phelps recently “raced” a shark, except Phelps didn’t swim side-by-side with a real shark. He went up against a CGI shark … that simulated how fast a shark would swim in a straight line. People were disappointed.
If Michael Phelps and a real shark had lined up side-by-side and run the kind of race that Michael Phelps is used to, he would have had his butt kicked.
Even the most adept Olympic swimmer is wholly ungraceful in the water. And the kicking of the feet, the splashing of the hands, couldn’t serve as any better attraction to sharks there is. So, no, Michael Phelps, if he had a shark after him, the shark’s gonna win every time.
I will say this, Michael’s in pretty darn good shape. There’s not a lot of body fat there. So, whatever got him was gonna get a lot of muscle and sinew and not so much fat. Maybe someone like myself would be a better meal because I have more calories in me than Michael does.
A far more interesting scenario, however, would have been, if you … give Michael a head start and put the great white behind him and see how fast he could swim with the white shark chasing him.
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