By Dan Snierson
May 23, 2018 at 12:21 PM EDT
Credit: Discovery

Yesterday, we dipped your toe into the water of Shark Week by telling you that the Shark Tank sharks were doing the most literal thing they could: hop in a tank and swim with sharks. Today brings another wave of news — and this is the big one:

Discovery has locked 13 specials for the 30th installment of Shark Week, that eight-day programming event dedicated to the menacing-but-misunderstood marine fish that features marine biologists showing off their cutting-edge shark research technology. EW has learned that this year’s fin fest — which runs from July 22 to 29 — will be anchored by some notable athletes and celebrities. Ronda Rousey will free dive with a Mako shark, survivalist Bear Grylls also will come face-to-face with a shark, and athletes including Aaron Rodgers, Lindsey Vonn, and Rob Gronkowski will receive a fast education from shark scientists. In addition, you will be transported to the waters off of Cuba for a special about the search for massive sharks, to the shores of South Africa to explore how great white sharks are being wiped out by orcas, and to the Bahamas to learn about the secret lives of bull and hammerhead sharks.

Below are the network’s descriptions of all confirmed specials — with more to be announced, which will bring the total to approximately 20.

Credit: Discovery

Shark Tank Meets Shark Week
“For the very first time, Shark Week brings together two of the most dynamic franchises on television in a shark vs. shark matchup to create Shark Tank Meets Shark Week. This time, there’s a $50,000 donation on the line for a desperately needed shark-saving cause. In true Shark Tank style, Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary get out of the tank and into the water. The Sharks are each paired with an oceanic organization to uncover the issues they’re facing, and they’ll discover threats of habitat destruction, overfishing, bycatch and more. Armed with new knowledge and a life-changing experience, for the big finale our Sharks return to the Shark Tank studio and are joined by fellow Shark Robert Herjavec to pitch each other why their organization deserves the big prize. Then, in the ultimate Shark showdown, each Shark will cast their vote for the organization they think is the most deserving (they can’t vote for their own).”

Cuba’s Secret Shark Lair (working title)
“In 1945, one of the largest sharks ever recorded was captured in Cuban waters. This great white was named ‘El Monstruo’, but sightings of huge sharks around Cuba didn’t end there. The phenomenon of massive sharks around Cuba puzzled scientists, but for years the island nation has been closed off to outsiders. Now, two teams of researchers have finally been granted permission to delve into the mystery of Cuba’s gigantic sharks. To the south, a team looks for a massive great hammerhead known as ‘The Queen’. And off Cuba’s north shore, the hunt is on for another ‘El Monstruo’-sized great white!”

Uncaged: Shark vs. Ronda Rousey
“Olympian, MMA champion, and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey is trained by shark conservationist and shark attack survivor Paul De Gelder to face her fiercest opponent yet: the fastest, bitiest shark in the world, and the ultimate fighter of the sea, the mako shark. First, Rousey, in a cage dives into the ring with several lightweight shark species in the waters off Fiji and then moves onto the main event in New Zealand where she’ll ‘free dive uncaged’ with the heavyweight mako shark. Ronda is out to prove that harnessing the fighting spirit she has developed throughout her career, she and everyone watching, can confront their greatest fears and be victorious in the face of those doubts.”

UNCAGED RR Disco Kuata Rock
Credit: Discovery

Great White Mama (working title)
“They’re big, they’re angry, and they’re pregnant! These large great white females migrate to Guadalupe for one last big feed of seals before they go off to have their pups. But where do they go? Dr. Mauricio Hoyos believes they head to the coast of Baja because local fishermen report catching many great white pups there. Dr. Hoyos and his all-female science team of Michelle Jewell and Toby Daly-Engel will track the sharks to Baja, use genetics to identify which pups belong to which females, and confirm a birthing ground to be protected.”

Credit: Discovery

Monster Tag (working title)
“Top athletes including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Olympic Champion Lindsey Vonn, and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will join forces with top shark scientists to learn crucial information about the ocean’s top predators. Shark populations are in trouble worldwide, but a daring collection of dedicated shark researchers are using the latest satellite technology to try and save them. If researchers can use satellite wildlife tags to figure out where sharks feed, mate, and birth their pups, the information will be critical to conserving the species.”

NEXT PAGE: Learn about Bear vs. Shark, Jaws in Paradise, and more

Jaws in Paradise (working title)
“Shark Cam is back and with smaller tags. Dr. Greg Skomal and the Woods Hole team go to the Bahamas to investigate the private lives of bull and hammerhead sharks, guided by Doc Gruber and Dr. Tristan Gutteridge of the Bimini Shark Lab. In the past, Shark Cam has revealed fascinating new behaviors of white sharks — what new things will the team discover about the hunting techniques of these other fierce species?”

Bear vs. Shark
“Back on Discovery for the 30th anniversary of Shark Week, Bear Grylls has survived the most extreme environments, from the frozen peaks of Everest to blazing sands of the Sahara Desert, but what will happen when he goes head to head with sharks when they have the home field advantage? It will be his greatest test of wits and skill as the ultimate survivor faces off with the ocean’s apex predator: Bear versus Shark.”

Sharkwrecked (working title)
“Every year, more than 450 boats sink in U.S. waters, and 8 out of 10 of these are small leisure craft and fishing vessels. Survivors plunge into deep water, often with no life vest, food, or fresh water. Throw hungry sharks to the mix, and suddenly there’s a real and immediate life-threatening challenge. In a 48-hour adrenaline-fueled and daring experiment, shark attack survivor Paul de Gelder joins forces with fellow servicemember and marine survival expert James Glancy to record what happens when a shipwreck occurs in shark-infested waters. Scientists Greg Skomal and Edd Brooks track the sharks that circle our survivors, while medic Mike Hudson and his team gauge their health and safety as their bodies deteriorate in the water over the 48-hour timeframe. Which sharks are attracted to humans in distress? We’ll answer this and the most important question: What gets you first, the sea or the sharks?”

Air Jaws vs. Orca (working title)
“In 2017, five full-grown great white sharks washed up dead on beaches in South Africa. The necropsy revealed they were eaten alive. What is the only massive sea predator that has the ability to capture, kill, and devour a group of 15-foot, 3,000-pound great white sharks? Orcas. Leading the case is shark biologist Alison Towner, searching for the killers in these grisly crimes and sleuthing for the answer everyone is asking: Will they attack again? On her journey, Alison locates two orcas, named Port and Starboard, easily identifiable by their drooping dorsal fins, and she determines how they could be the attackers. In one of the most gripping stories of survival, Alison teams up with conservationist Chris Fallows and filmmakers Jeff Kurr and Andy Casagrande to find out how these great whites are being wiped out and what can be done to save them.”

Tiger Shark Invasion (working title)
“An invasive species is turning one of the world’s oldest marine ecosystems upside down. Dr. Neil Hammerschlag leads a team, including camera operator Joe Romeiro and local expert Alex Ahearn, to the Galapagos to observe and document how tiger sharks — new to the islands in the last 10 years — have reset the underwater order in one of the sharkiest places on the planet.”

The Laws of Jaws (working title)
“Shark attacks are on the rise, but are these attacks the result of the shark’s behavior or our own? Our team of expert divers Liz Parkinson, Mike Dornellas, and Nick LeBeouf and professional cameraman Andy Casagrande put this theory to the test by reenacting five harrowing real-life encounters and putting their own lives on the line. Real-life incidents recreated in real time. The most daring shark experiments ever attempted, helping uncover the keys to survive.”

Son of Jaws (working title)
“Over four decades ago, giant great white sharks off Long Island, New York gave rise to the legend of Jaws. But all those big sharks were caught and killed, and they disappeared — until now. With protection, the sons and daughters of Jaws are making a comeback. Dr. Craig O’Connell goes looking for the legendary monsters of Montauk to see if the bloodline of Jaws continues.”

Great White Abyss
“The deeper you dive the bigger the sharks? A team of experts goes to great white hotspot Guadalupe Island to look for the biggest sharks of their kind. Once before, a 20-foot female named Deep Blue showed herself then disappeared into the deep. Is that where all the giant sharks live? Dr. Mauricio Hoyos thinks so. In a combination of deep-water cage and submarine dives, Dr. Hoyos and expert shark diver Jimi Partington, plus Andy Casagrande, go looking for big, bigger, the biggest sharks in the deep water around Guadalupe.”

Shark Tank

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