Michael Phelps finally met his match in the water: a “great white shark.”
The Olympic champion swimmer was bested Sunday night in the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week special “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White.”
But Phelps didn’t swim with a real shark. He competed in the ocean against a computer-simulated fish based on data on the swimming speed of sharks.
Many viewers were not pleased with that news.
Throughout the episode, ecologist Tristan Gutteridge and his team collected data about the swim speed of sharks because sharks don’t typically swim in a straight line, according to The Washington Post.
Gutteridge said instead of Phelps and a shark swimming side by side, the scientists would use the speed data they obtained to create a computer-generated image of a shark racing. Phelps would compete against that.
Phelps was even outfitted with a wetsuit and a monofin to mimic a shark’s powerful tail, but that unfortunately didn’t push him to victory.
He finished the 100 meter race in 38 seconds — two seconds slower than the simulated shark.
The internet felt even more let down.
Phelps tweeted Sunday that he’d like a rematch, but in warmer water.
Did you feel misled by the hype surrounding Phelps’ race on Sunday? Share with us in the comments below.