Shark, meet sharks!
Mark Cuban is reliving the not-so-terrifying moment he came face-to-face with a Galapagos shark.
In Discovery’s Shark Tank Meets Shark Week special (clip above), the entrepreneur takes a dive into the deep blue off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, all for a good cause.
“I’m not a big-time snorkeler so I didn’t know what to expect,” Cuban, 59, told PEOPLE exclusively. “But the way they set it up was great. I got to go down to the bottom of the cage. I got comfortable within two seconds. I was just like, ‘Wow – I’m not nervous.’ They’re not intimidating. It was like, ‘Thanks for letting me in your space guys.’
“The weird part about the whole thing, because you have weight belts on and the choppiness of the water, I kept banging around in the cage, but I kept telling myself to enjoy the moment and to see everything,” he continued. “It was easy to maneuver around the cage, but looking down was so blue you could just see forever. I would swim outside the cage!”
When it comes to sharks in general, Cuban said the misconceptions are endless.
“[People assume] that they’re inherently mean, aggressive, and man-eating but nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “This is their world. You can just tell, once you go underneath the water, it’s their world.”
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For the Shark Week special, Cuban and costars Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary teamed up with different shark-saving causes, eventually awarding one group a $50,000 donation.
“I’ve been doing pitches my whole life,” said Cuban, who teamed up with Shark Allies, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of sharks and rays and the oceans in which they live. “Just like any entrepreneur that comes on Shark Tank, I want to get to the motivation. I want to get what makes Stefanie Brendl’s organization different and how we can use the money in ways that the other organizations can’t. It’s important.”
He added, “Underwater, I was learning so much from Stefanie. There are a million-plus sharks that are hunted every year – for shark fin soup, or captured by a commercial fishing organization and thrown away. It just makes no sense.”
Shark Tank Meets Shark Week airs Wednesday night, July 25, at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery Channel. And don’t miss the rest of Shark Week’s seriously awesome specials.