If you followed the much-hyped race between Michael Phelps and a great white shark, looking forward to the race and thinking Phelps might just have a chance, you're probably feeling pretty disappointed — and dumb — today.
Discovery Channel heavily promoted a 100m race between the world's most decorated Olympian and a great white shark. It's the start of Discovery's Shark Week. But the channel long ago jumped the shark on Shark Week, and this was no exception.
Phelps didn't race a great white at all. He raced a computer model. And he lost to boot.
In the end, despite being an athletic powerhouse, Phelps lost to the shark by two seconds. He swam "at a top speed of 5-6 mph (8-10 km/h) an hour, slower than the shark," according to the BBC.
All that hype for statistics. The shark wasn't real, as ecologist Tristan Gutteridge, one the featured scientists in the race, said. “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.”
The "shark," it later turned out, was a mere simulation generated by scientists who gathered data from actual sharks.
However, for many viewers, the truth was hard to swallow:
i spent 60 minutes of my life watching a build up to michael phelps race a fake computer generated shark. i'm pissed— spo (@spoyourboat) July 24, 2017
I honestly feel so robbed that I just watched an hour of a stupid show to see Michael Phelps race a FAKE shark. #fakenews— Hannah Bowen (@HannahGBowen) July 24, 2017
smh Michael Phelps isn't actually racing a shark. He's just racing a simulation of a shark. Biggest scam of 2017— Marcus ¬ (@M_Frosti) July 24, 2017
Me pretending to be ok with Michael Phelps not racing a real shark pic.twitter.com/QnCF98NfBB— Gabi Palamone (@Yo_Gabi_Gabi__) July 24, 2017
I know it's stupid to think michael phelps was actually going to be racing against a real shark but I'm stupid and upset— Nicole (@nicoleee_adams) July 24, 2017
"They swim so fast, it's almost like a bullet," Phelps said. "I don't like taking silver medals but I'll take one against a great white."