Michael Phelps's sharklike instincts powered the American to a record 23 Olympic swimming gold medals, but how would he fare against an actual shark?
That's the question the Discovery Channel television program "Shark Week" wants to answer when Phelps appears in July's season-opening episode "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White".
Details of how the showdown will work are scarce, but the media release is already causing quite the frenzy.
"The world's most decorated athlete takes on the ocean's most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark - the race is on!" a Discovery Channel release promises.
"They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps.
39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. But he has one competition left to win.
An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world's most decorated athlete takes on the ocean's most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark - the race is on! Produced by Peacock Productions."
Phelps confessed his love of Sharks in a YouTube video released this week.
"We just got off a plane from South Africa yesterday, we were down there for about a week," he said. "That one was fun, doing some stuff with Shark Week and for me, sharks are like my number one favourite animal in the world, being able to see them face-to-face was pretty cool."
The 31-year-old will also appear in the "Shark Week" finale, attending "Shark School" with experts who will enlighten the Olympic great and TV viewers on how to safely dive with sharks, "including how to stay calm when a hammerhead swims two feet above his face".
Social media obviously had a field day with this one.
Honestly, I'm more excited for Michael Phelps racing a great white shark than I am for the Mayweather-McGregor fight. Just me though.— Jason Dockter (@DrGeneva1560) June 16, 2017
If Michael Phelps beats the shark tho i'll put his career and legacy over anybody's. MJ included— Victor Dukes (@VictorDukes23) June 17, 2017
How stoned was Michael Phelps when he decided it was a good idea to race a great white shark?— Michael Blackman (@MBlackman37) June 16, 2017
this the shark Michael Phelps is racing pic.twitter.com/t9msluSLL7— Evan (@goodbyeevan) June 18, 2017