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Dr. Austin Gallagher of Shark Week Reveals Jaw-Dropping Finale of "Belly of the Beast"

Shark Week expert survives harrowing encounter with great white shark.

Shark Week has officially commenced in the 2023 TV schedule, and it has already started with a bang. The highly anticipated special, "Belly of the Beast: Feeding Frenzy," took viewers on a thrilling adventure as Dr. Austin Gallagher ventured into a whale decoy while his team collected valuable data on the behavior of great white sharks in South Africa. The finale sequence was nothing short of breathtaking, resembling scenes from a blockbuster movie. Dr. Gallagher recently sat down with CinemaBlend to discuss the special and the heart-stopping finale.

Previously, Dr. Gallagher had shed light on the threat posed by orcas, also known as "serial killers," to the great white population in the waters off South Africa. In "Belly of the Beast: Feeding Frenzy," he shared his firsthand experience inside the whale decoy and reflected on the outcome. When asked about the cinematic quality of the finale, Dr. Gallagher revealed that while it felt like a scripted scene, it was anything but. The encounter with the massive great white shark attacking the decoy was a nerve-wracking experience, but fortunately, it ended on a positive note with the successful tagging of the shark. This departure from the typical ending of shark movies, where humans are the heroes, highlighted the scientific success of the expedition.

During the encounter, the shark took control and began dragging the vessels through the water. Dr. Gallagher described his thoughts while inside the belly of the decoy whale, capturing the intensity and unpredictability of the situation. The experiment with Earl the decoy whale in South African waters proved to be a resounding success, even if the final tagging of Ray the shark took some unexpected and "insane" turns. Overall, "Belly of the Beast: Feeding Frenzy" was a fitting choice to kick off this year's Shark Week.

This year holds special significance for Shark Week as it celebrates its 35th anniversary on television. The cinematic quality of the "Belly of the Beast" finale exemplifies how far the event has come since its inception in 1988. Additionally, the special shed light on the ongoing threat that orcas pose to great white sharks, a topic first explored in-depth during Shark Week 2022. The inclusion of gory footage showcasing the encounters between killer whales and great whites, along with challenges to the popular Air Jaws special, captivated audiences.

As Shark Week 2023 unfolds, viewers can look forward to a thrilling lineup of specials. Night 2 on July 24 will feature "Great White Fight Club" at 8 p.m. ET, "Monster of the Bermuda Triangle" at 9 p.m., and "Alien Sharks: Strange New Worlds" at 10 p.m. on Discovery. These specials will also be available for streaming with a Max subscription. So, buckle up and get ready for more jaw-dropping adventures in the world of sharks.

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