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Could Michael Phelps really be faster than a great white shark?

Michael Phelps swimming in pool
Michael Phelps is fast but can he beat a great white shark in a race?

This week Michael Phelps is due to take on a great white shark in a race as he takes part in Discovery’s Shark Week 2017.

The great white shark is actually a species of mackerel shark and they are found all round the world. Humans have had a love hate relationship with these giants of the shark world for thousands of years.

Being up to 20 foot in length with a ferocious set of teeth these fierce predators have inspired both admiration and fear in humans living near them.

Great white shark closeup
The great white shark is a very efficient swimmer

The shark’s prey can be pretty much any other sea creature with sea mammals, fish and birds all on the menu. Occasionally they have also attacked humans and this species accounts for the most recorded bites from all sharks.

However, tonight the race with Phelps is all about speed and these amazing fish don’t have a bad record. They can swim down as far as 3,900 ft and can reach speed of up to 35 mph or 56 km/h.

Michael Phelp's fins
Will the mono fin bring the Olympic swimmer up to speed

The fastest speed Michael Phelps has ever recorded in the pool is about 6mph but with the addition of the huge mono fin will he be able to outpace the ultimate swimming machine?

Check out the Shark Week 2017 Schedule for more.

Phelps vs Shark: Great Gold vs Great White airs at 8:00 PM on Discovery Channel. 

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact... read more
James Wray

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