'Diving Novice' Chris Hemsworth Is Swimming with Sharks to Kick Off TV's Largest SharkFest Yet
National Geographic's SharkFest kicks off on July 5 and will run for six weeks and include streaming content on Disney+ for the first time in the TV event's eight-year history
Summer is almost here, which means sharks will soon be swimming across your TV.
On July 5, National Geographic's largest SharkFest yet kicks off. This year's massive television event will last for six weeks and include 21 hours of original content. That's so many sharks, they couldn't be kept to just one network. SharkFest programming will be featured on four networks: National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo Mundo, and Disney XD. Additionally, Disney + will also start offering fresh SharkFest content on July 9 — including the Disney+ original documentary Playing with Sharks on July 23 — and plans to start streaming the best parts of past SharkFests on June 25.
To start SharkFest off right, National Geographic recruited Chris Hemsworth for the one-hour special Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth, which premieres July 5. For the documentary, the Thor star shows off his surfing skills, but more importantly, explores how humans and sharks can coexist harmoniously after one of Australia's worst shark attack seasons. Hemsworth went for dive amongst a group of nurse sharks with shark conservationist Valerie Taylor to get a better understanding of these infamous underwater creatures.
PEOPLE has an exclusive peek at how Hemsworth's hands-on shark experience went. In the clip above, the "diving novice" swims through dark waters in hopes of seeing a nurse shark, an animal that can grow to be 12 feet long. After a bit of paddling, Hemsworth gets his wish when large sharks start to appear out of the blue.
Hemsworth isn't the only one taking a bite out of SharkFest this year. Among the event's original programming is a host of exciting new shows, including Shark Attack Files, a six-part series that explores the bizarre behaviors of this animal enigmas. Also new to SharkFest is the documentary Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story, which focuses on the inspirational teen Paige Winter, who survived a shocking shark attack and emerged as an advocate for the creatures.
This is only a fraction of what shark fans can expect from this year's SharkFest, which kicks off on July 5 with the first episode of When Sharks Attack at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on National Geographic. Following right behind this first show is the premiere of Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth, a Nutopia production, at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST. After that, it's fin-to-fin shark programming for the next 6 weeks on all of SharkFest's networks.
"The mysteries of the ocean's most iconic predators are so vast, even with eight years of shark-focused content under our belt, there still remains more to be discovered," Janet Vissering, the senior vice president of development and production at National Geographic Partners, said in a statement. "Like every year, shark scientists and oceanic experts have pulled out all the stops for this year's SharkFest, revealing new discoveries, shocking revelations and bizarre shark behavior never seen before. It's going to be jaw-some!"