Andy Torbet goes up against the world's most powerful animals. Andy goes to California in his quest to find the ocean's best high jumper, the mako shark.
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know Julie good year? Doesn't
Do I lose marks for that?
Have you ever wondered
what it would be like if humans
had the super skills of animals?
But who would be crazy enough
to try and fly like a falcon,
grip like a gorilla,
and swim like a shark?
I'm Andy Torbet,
and this is Beyond Bionic,
the show where I try and match
the skills of some of nature's most
Action is Andy's middle name.
I mean, it's Thomas, but...
And now I'm using my super skills to
take on nature's superheroes in the
biggest challenge of my life.
And don't worry,
I'm hanging around to make sure
he doesn't do anything too extreme.
I take to the water
in a Beyond Bionic challenge
of the world's fastest fish.
Time to dive. I have to go all out,
using the latest tech to try
and match its super skills
as I push my body to new heights.
Now this really is...Beyond Bionic!
Awesome wipe-out, dude!
I've travelled 5,000 miles to the
Pacific Ocean to meet this super
swimmer. In today's episode,
we're off the coast of California,
in the USA.
Hey, do you guys know
where you're going?
We're on a search for one
of the fastest fish in the sea,
a creature that moves so quick
it'll go twice as fast
as we're going right now,
and we're going pretty quick.
Whoa! So what's this superhero fish
you're on about?
Do tell, Andy.
It's the mako shark,
and I'm going to dive in
and get up close.
Shark? Don't be silly, Andy,
we all know sharks are dangerous.
OK, got to go, makos don't hang
around for long.
and then there's crazy silly.
Coming in, coming in.
There's a shark behind you!
Meet the mako.
I've dived with sharks before,
but this is the first time I've come
face to face with the mako.
I think he's really pleased
to see you?
Thankfully, the mako that's come
to check me out isn't a fully grown
adult, but at two metres long,
this encounter is still pretty
And if the shark gets too close,
I've only got this plastic pipe
to protect me.
That is a truly amazing experience,
to be in the water
with such a beautiful creature.
But as well as that, it's so
well-designed for what it does.
You can see that beautiful sleek
body that's designed to dart through
the water at such high speeds,
to chase those very fast prey
that it eats.
Just an amazing animal.
And I can't resist one more swim
with this incredible predator.
These animals are super fast
and can reach speeds of up to 46mph,
and their speed even allows them
to jump out of the water, too.
This awesome skill
is called breaching...
..making them one
of the ocean's best high jumpers.
They can reach heights
of up to nine metres.
than two double-decker buses.
The mako is definitely one
of the coolest fish in the sea,
and my challenge is to match
its in-water speed,
but crucially also build enough
power to propel myself out
of the water to great heights.
It's time for me to go
The mako shark is built for speed.
Its large tail helps to produce
maximum power to propel it through
the water, but it's not just known
for its serious MPH.
It can also do serious miles.
One mako was recorded swimming
1,320 miles in 37 days.
That's over 42,000 lengths of
an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Someone give that fish a medal!
And their teeth are some of the
sharpest of all the shark family.
They've up to 300 thin, razor-like
teeth in their mouth at one time,
designed to catch and grip fish.
They don't like to chew, preferring
to rip their food into bite-size
chunks and swallow it whole.
Eugh! Someone teach that shark
some table manners!
Although the mako is one of the
fiercest predators of the sea,
bugs called copepods choose to live
and feed on them.
So those strange-looking things
hooked on to its fin
actually live there.
Wow, they get, like, a free lunch
and ride all in one.
The Beyond Bionic team have given me
the challenge of matching the mako
shark's impressive speed through the
water and then find a way to breach
up to the height of nine metres.
But before I can do any of that,
I need to find a way to stay
underwater for long periods of time.
Us humans aren't designed
to live underwater.
Even with training,
the longest I can hold my breath
is about four minutes.
Is that a shark sniggering?
I've come to the Spanish island
of Mallorca because, apparently,
there's a piece of kit here
that might be able to help me.
Can I have an ice cream?
I'm going on board this 476-tonne
that looks after this little beauty.
This is not a sci-fi movie prop,
this is the Triton submarine,
an amazing bit of technology
for exploring the deep blue sea.
And guess what? I get to have a go.
This incredible mini sub
can dive down to 500 metres.
Hey, that's like the length
of five soccer pitches.
Here we go, time to dive.
It's also the same depth
a mako can dive to.
We're only about 20 metres down,
but look at that view.
There's just so many fish around us,
there's shoals above us,
to both sides, beneath us.
And our friendly underwater
you are not here to admire the view.
How long can you stay under?
Well, the submarine has
an operational endurance
of about ten to 12 hours.
Usually, it's all
about human endurance.
Typically, people will wear out
long before the sub does.
Yeah, I notice there's no toilet
What? No restrooms,
surrounded by water?
Yeah, that could be tricky.
Better cross your legs, Andy.
This is great, we are directly along
the wall at a depth of seven metres.
The sub ticks the box for underwater
but when it comes to speed, it's
more seahorse than super shark...
..because its top speed
is only 3.5mph.
This mako is going to make fish food
out of you!
If I'm going to match the power
and speed of the mako,
I'm going to have to find
a different bit of technology.
But spending some time underwater
has been amazing.
Patrick, could we head over there?
Yes, we can go over there.
This trip down to the deep
has got me thinking -
how can I stay underwater and travel
at super shark speeds?
So confirm we are clear to surface,
is that affirmative?
But as I'm finding out, this is
going to be one hard fish to match.
So the mako may be the fastest shark
in the deep blue sea,
but how do they compare
to their friends?
It's time for shark versus dolphin
in a head-to-head race.
On your makos, get set, go!
Common dolphins need serious speed
to show off their showboating flips
and tricks, swimming at up to 22mph,
but that's nothing compared
to the mako.
This fishy Ferrari can clock 46mph -
that's over twice that
of the common dolphin.
In the sea, size matters.
This is the bull shark,
a giant of the ocean,
measuring in at 2.2 metres,
head to tail.
But at 3.2 metres, there's a whole
lot more shark making up the mako.
Remind me again how tall you are,
And that's not all we know.
The mako is one mighty high jumper,
but is it top of the class?
I have a feeling this fact
is going to mako my day.
Meet the great white -
one of nature's most fearless,
fearsome and frightening creatures.
And when this fish wants to get
some air time,
it reaches heights of three metres.
But the mako, as we know,
can ace that at nine.
Slam dunk! That is off the scale!
Animals really are nature's
superheroes, and I'm totally in awe,
but I'm also seriously competitive -
hate being beaten and I like to win.
So if I'm going to stand a chance
against the strongest,
fastest and best-designed animals
in the world,
I need their super skills.
And how do I do that?
I'm going around the world to find
in cutting-edge technology
and the experts who can help me
transform my body
and go beyond bionic.
My challenge is to swim
as fast the mako shark.
And match its ability
to jump out of the water.
I'm sure you'll whizz
through this one.
Better jump to it!
To do this, I need to use science
to perfect my propulsion,
something the mako is naturally
Mansplain that to me quick.
Propulsion is the pushing force that
makes an object move forwards and
upwards. Mako sharks create this by
flexing their super strong muscles
to make wave-like movements from
the top of the body to their tail.
This movement pushes them
through the water at top speed.
Oh, OK, so you just need to get
a funky wiggle on, Andy.
If I'm going to take on
this serious swimmer,
I need to find the best tech tools
to create the ultimate pushing force
for speed and height.
It's a multi-challenge.
Two for one!
My next stop is Italy, and
I'm heading to the town of Padua,
where things are about to get
What are you doing there, signore?
Building an underwater
evil villain base?
Trying out some new verruca socks?
Please say it's not the socks.
If I'm going to match
the mako shark,
I'm going to need some gadgetry
to help me out.
So I've come to Y-40,
the world's deepest swimming pool,
to test out some top tech and see if
I can turn myself
into a shark-like swimmer.
I get it. Ooh, a curvy red thing,
a funky backpack,
and a big one of...those.
That's quite some pool party
you've got there, Andy.
Look at all this fantastic gadgetry.
We're going to start with the lowest
tech of the lot - a monofin.
Now, swimmers use this
to give themselves extra power.
So let's see how it performs.
What I love about the monofin is how
straightforward it is to use and the
way it feels like a natural
extension of my legs.
I love the way it makes you look
like a mermaid.
But the fin isn't really helping me
swim much faster.
But the fin isn't really helping me
swim much faster.
Next to the mako's 46mph
in the ocean...
..I'd look like
I was just treading water.
It's helping to propel me
through the water...
..and I can push myself
out of it...a bit.
Well, that worked...very well,
especially as it's such
a simple design.
So let's how the next one performs.
Got anything a bit, um, techier?
This is the X2 and it's got
which the makers say can propel you
through the water faster than an
Let's see if that's true.
What happened to trying to swim
faster than a mako shark?
Is your brain soggy?
Thanks to my wrist-mounted
I feel like I could swim and swim
and swim and not get tired.
The mako is a long-distance swimmer,
and has been known to clock up
a whopping 62 miles in a day.
That's the same as two and a half
I feel like a human torpedo,
but can it propel me through
the water fast enough
for the all-important breach test?
Here comes the but.
OK, well, you don't get much
distance out of water
because as soon as the engines
are in the air, they lose power.
Maybe you should try them
on your ankles.
Whoa, wait a second!
What's this thing?
This is the Seabob,
and it works by sucking in water
at the front
and then firing it out the back
in a jet to give power and speed.
I've got high hopes for this one.
OK, watch out for the tun...
Straight away, this feels quick,
You won't catch me staying still
something the mako knows all about.
Sharks extract oxygen from water
as it flows across their gills.
So if a mako stops swimming,
it could drown.
A truly breathtaking fact.
Now, that was a lot of fun.
It's got bags of power,
bags of speed.
This is a good bit of kit.
Time to see just how powerful
this underwater tech really is.
Never mind mako, look at you ma-go!
It's a good breach, but not anywhere
near nine metres.
The weight of the Seabob is pulling
me back into the pool
before I can get any serious air.
The machine is good,
but lacked the levels
of propulsion I need.
Well, clearly, there are
some fantastic bits of technology
out there to propel me through the
water and out of it, a little bit.
But as good as that technology is,
it is no match for the power
and speed of the mako shark.
And I think I'll have one more go.
Don't you dare.
Andy, you come back here right now!
Andy! Oh, I give up.
The Beyond Bionic team have set me
the impossible challenge to swim and
breach out of the water
like a mako shark.
I've tried out
some incredible gadgetry,
but so far none have taken me
My options are running out to find
the right bionic tech to complete
this challenge. I think to get any
real speed up,
I need a bit more practice.
The question is -
can I find some technology
that will let me beat the mako
at its own game?
For the final part of my mission
to match the mako,
the Beyond Bionic team have sent me
back to where I started.
On my trek to find the right tech,
I'm in California again.
Is this show called Beyond Vacation?
Maybe I should splash out
on some better beachwear.
I've had the chance to use
some world-class technology
to explore the depths of the oceans
and to rack up some pretty
but none of it has given me
the ability to zoom through
the water and then leap out of it
just like a mako shark.
But I've had an idea.
I'm going to try using that.
This is the ZR hoverboard.
Inspired by the Back To The Future
movies and the famous Silver Surfer
superhero, the board is designed to
let you ride at high speeds and surf
above the water.
I've got one last chance to complete
my challenge to match the mako for
speed and jumping ability.
Could this top tech be
the answer I'm looking for?
And I'm in safe hands with Paul,
one of the USA's best hoverboarders.
He seems pretty stoked.
How does it work?
so basically the hoverboard hooks up
to the jet-ski and then the water is
re-directed from the jet-ski
to the hoverboard, through a hose.
So I've seen it being used like
a skateboard or a snowboard,
where the person has stood up,
which is really cool,
but do you think there's a way of
using it so that I'm more like
a mako shark?
Yeah, I think if you
you can be more like a mako shark.
That's a great idea.
Shall we go for it?
Um, Andy, haven't you forgotten
To match the mako, you need to swim
UNDER the water, too.
All right, so, Andy,
what you're going to do, OK,
you're going to hold the board
like a boogie board,
you're going to hold your hands up
And you're going to let it take
You're going to lay on it.
Fully extended, turn left,
When I give you throttle,
that board's going to want
to come up.
But just push back down on it
with your arms, OK?
And that will flatten it out.
OK, you got all that, Andy?
Time to hoverboard.
Like a mako shark.
Hey, this guy's pretty good.
I wonder if he can really make you
like a mako.
It seems the key to my success or
failure is how well I can balance.
The mako shark, like most fish,
balances and breaks
using its pectoral fins.
They're on either side of the body
behind the gills.
If only I had some.
I think I'm in for a bumpy ride.
Yeah, yeah, yeah!
You know what they say, Andy,
don't mako before you can walk-o.
Yeah, like a cowboy, whoo!
Apart from the balance,
the bit I'm finding difficult is
getting any height above the water,
and that's what the mako shark
They're such powerful swimmers that
they can breach up to nine metres
high. That's more than five times
Hey, you've got a lot to live up to.
So for me to get close,
I need some more tips from Paul.
Basically, what you're going to do
now to get more lift is you want to
shift your weight back towards
the back of the board.
As you start to get higher,
push back down on the board
and that will level you out.
All right, sounds good,
let's give it a try.
Time to put theory into practice,
and it's not long
before I'm reaching heights
nearer those of our sharky friend.
Um, kind of surf dude!
But, Andy, you know what goes up
must come down.
And down. Down and down again.
Awesome wipe-out, dude!
I'm not having any problems
I'm getting right out of the water.
But I'm just not really getting
any speed under the water.
I think I'll have another go.
This bionic board is great for speed
and lift on the surface.
But try as I might, I can't push
the board under the water.
It's simply not happening.
Go, Andy! Yeah!
The angle of the water jet makes it
too difficult to try and go down
Ride 'em, cowboy!
And that's where the mako shark
really trumps me.
Its nose, fins and tail
for underwater swimming, and its
body is designed to be a perfect
torpedo shape to move at speed
through the water.
I need to face facts - I can't match
the mako for underwater speed,
but this tech does give me a chance
to propel myself out of the water.
The question is -
can I hit the nine-metre mark?
Oh, that's one way
of getting underwater.
That's got to hurt.
Andy, are you all right?
Are you OK?
Good job, mate.
Sorry, Andy, I think it's time
to pull the plug.
That big powerful jet of water
at the back was propelling me
right out up in the air,
but unfortunately it's just not
deciding to go underwater.
I just couldn't match
the mako shark.
Don't be down, Andy.
You gave it your best shot.
Forget about the what-ifs.
What if a mako shark raced
an Olympic breaststroke swimmer
over 50 metres?
The mako is so fast it would finish
the race in only 2.5 seconds.
That's ten times quicker
than the world record.
What if you hugged a mako shark?
It won't be very cuddly!
That's because its skin is rough as
sandpaper, and it's all down to the
thousands of teeth-like scales
that cover its body.
What if humans had as many teeth
as a mako shark?
Well, we'd get a lot of visits
from the tooth fairy.
The mako shark
has over 300 gnashers,
which continually shed
and replace themselves,
meaning they get through thousands
in their lifetime.
There's one final machine
that's been inspired by sharks.
It's designed to give riders a
glimpse of the mako's raw power.
I've just been told I get to have
a go in that mean machine.
This is going to be awesome!
This is the Seabreacher, a mashup
between a speedboat and a submarine.
And it looks more than capable
of matching the mako.
What's up, man?
You ready to feel like a mako?
I certainly am, can I jump in?
My pilot is Anthony.
It's a little choppy, so...
And he's going to put
this shark-inspired torpedo
through its paces.
This I got to see.
How fast can this thing go?
It can do about 60mph.
Can you show me?
Yes, sir, I can.
You know what rhymes with shower?
What rhymes with shower? Power.
I like this guy, he's cool.
The speed and acceleration
of this thing is incredible.
It's like being in a jet fighter.
This is really fun and it's given me
an idea of what it's like to be a
cutting through the water.
And it even looks like a shark, too!
Check out that fin and those teeth.
So that's what it can do
on the surface,
can it actually go underwater
for a little bit as well?
That's when it gets fun.
Andy, you're having
way too much fun.
And with its underwater top speed
it's clear the Seabreacher can
match the mako on the power front.
What about breaching then,
like a mako shark does?
Oh, yeah. You want to breach
Yeah, let's try it, breach.
Power and breaching all in one?
You go, shark boy!
So can the Seabreacher take me
This shark-inspired Seabreacher
is as close as I can get
to matching the mako's power.
But it can't get me to breach
as high or swim as deep
as the mighty mako.
OK, people, that's a wrap.
This has been an amazing experience
from start to finish.
It was incredible
to come face to face
with one of nature's best swimmers.
I went fin to fin with the mako to
try and match its super swimming and
jumping skills, using an awesome
in the Mediterranean,
trying out tech to propel myself
through the water in Italy.
And then riding the hoverboard that
got me leaping out of the water.
But in the end, I just couldn't
match the mighty mako.
Yep, I had access to some
of the best technology in the world
and yet I still couldn't come close
to matching the millions of years
of evolution that
has made the mako shark one
of the fastest
and most agile creatures on the
planet. So, mako shark,
you win this one.
And my work here is finished.
Finished, get it? Fin-ished.
Fin, like a shark's fin.
No? Suit yourself.
Action adventurer Andy Torbet takes on some of the biggest challenges of his life as he attempts to match the super-skills of some of nature's superheroes, as he embarks on a range of thrilling and daring challenges.
In this episode Andy is off the coast of California in his quest to find the ocean's best high jumper, the mako shark. In the midst of the Pacific Ocean he comes jaw to jaw with one of the ocean's fiercest predators and sees first-hand the might of the mako. Andy learns how the mako can leap out of the water reaching heights of up to nine metres, as well as reaching top speeds of well over 40mph.
Andy must find a way to go bionic by trying out the coolest technology to try and reach the shark's top swimming speed. He also has to find a way to propel himself out of the water to reach the same jumping height as the magnificent mako. Has Andy bitten off more than he can chew in his first Beyond Bionic challenge?