90-Year-Old William Shatner Swims With Sharks To Overcome His 'Deathly' Fear

Although we obviously tend to associate William Shatner with Star Trek, that show and its movie spin-offs only make up a part of his long and multi-faceted career.

Even if we just focus on his acting resume, we'd find that he's been working pretty steadily ever since the early 1950s. And it's fair to say that in his 90 years on this planet, Shatner has seen a lot.

But until recently, one thing he has avoided in that time is sharks. But while his fears were likely influenced in part by media portrayals of sharks — including what you might see during Shark Week — it was through this year's Shark Week programming that he found himself overcoming them through a stunning encounter.

On July 12, Shatner starred in a Discovery special called *Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek*.

In it, he sought to finally conquer his fear of sharks by diving down with a group of experts and meeting them face-to-face.

As he told the special's host, Josh Gates, "I am deathly afraid of sharks. I really am."

Bearing this in mind, the team gradually exposed Shatner to some lighter encounters before moving on to the big one.

As Yahoo Entertainment reported, the team started by having Shatner dive down to meet some reef sharks and some hammerheads, neither of which are known to react aggressively to the presence of humans.

And while the team stressed that tiger sharks are unlikely to cause any harm unless provoked, the moderately elevated risk of hanging around them made for a fitting climax.

In the full video, you'll see that in addition to exposing Shatner to the sharks he feared, the dive with the shiver of tiger sharks also served to test a magnetic barrier created by one of the experts named Craig.

And while the experience brings the team a little closer to the tiger sharks' teeth than they may have liked, it yielded some promising results for Craig's barrier.

And for Shatner, it gave him the chance to experience the majesty of sharks firsthand.

As he said, "They’re so beautiful, they’re unlike anything I’ve ever seen."

The experience may have been a little chaotic, but Shatner's fear of sharks gave way to pure exhilaration at his incredibly close encounter with them.

In his words, "Unbelievable, one of the great moments of my life."

h/t: Yahoo Entertainment