Mythbusters Builds 16-foot Robot Shark for Shark Week


Like the American Idol finale and Superbowl Sunday, Shark Week is a hallowed American tradition that celebrates the special bond between a couch potato and his high-definition television. And in case you haven’t glanced at the big red circle on your wall calendar recently, the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is coming up next week. This year’s line up features hour-long specials including “Surviving Sharks” and “Mysteries of the Shark Coast,” but the highlight of the event for us is going to be the Mythbusters’ Shark Special. Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, and gang will hit the Bahamas this year to investigate shark myths (ie. Do dogs attract sharks? Does chili powder repel them?). The highlight of this year’s show has to be their 16-foot robo-shark (frickin’ laser beams not confirmed).

Kari Byron (left) and Grant Imahara unpack RoboDog from its crate and begin to set it up.

Kari Byron and Grant Imahara prepare Robodog for the experiment with Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas. Robodog was built to swim and move like a live dog.

Grant Imahara fills bags with assorted canine bodily fluids and excretions -- blood, urine and feces   These substances will be released into the water to see if they aid in attracting sharks.

Tory Belleci lends a hand while RoboDog takes its maiden voyage.

Adam Savage on the dock at Encinal Boat Launch in Alameda, Calif., where he and Jamie Hyneman demonstrate the power of a sharks bite.

Jamie Hyneman takes a look at the mechanical great white shark he and co-host Adam Savage built. Jamie built a hinged hydraulic spine for the fiberglass frame so it would move like a live shark. Adam recreated the mouth with serrated metal teeth covered with foam to make them look white.

Tory Belleci demonstrates the power of a shark bite during production of the MythBusters episode for Shark Week 2008. The shark was built to apply accurate bite force of a great white shark. Emergency stop buttons were built into the shark's eyes to test the myth that a poke in the eye will make a shark stop what its doing.

(Photos courtesy Discovery Channel)

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