Robert Irwin Swims With Manta Ray to Kick Off Shark Week | 22 Words

Steve Irwin's son, Robert Irwin, gave fans the fright of their lives on Sunday by swimming alongside a giant manta ray.

Several fans expressed concerns for the safety of the seventeen-year-old after he posted the video to Instagram, noting how the scene looked scarily similar to how his father was killed.

Steve Irwin died at the age of forty-four back in September 2006 after being stabbed through the chest by a stingray barb while filming a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef. Robert is apparently doing his latest documentary to show his followers that these things aren't the fault of the animals.

Robert posted 8 photos and 2 videos on his Instagram as clips from a recent filming expedition with the Discovery Channel. The first photo showed him with a giant manta ray, which will be on Discovery next weekend as a part of Shark Week, he explained while sharing the preview online.

Captioning the post, he wrote: "Sunday, July 11 at 8 p.m. I get the honor of kicking off Shark Week on Discovery in the USA with Crikey! It's Shark Week!'

Steve Irwin, who remains as one of Australia's national treasures, always taught people to love and appreciate wildlife which is why after his death, fans tried not to cast blame onto the stingray responsible. This has been a driving force for Robert, who is now returning to that same location for his new special to teach his many fans not to be afraid.

"For the first leg of this epic adventure, I'll travel to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef as a warm-up before I go face to face with great white sharks at the Neptune Islands," he wrote. "From night diving with sharks on the hunt to getting one-on-one with massive manta rays, it was a great way to start this expedition!"

Fans made the connection to his father, with one user writing: "Your old man would be so stoked and proud," while another added: "What an absolutely amazing adventure. Your dad will be right there with you. Can't wait to follow along on your travels." A third wrote: "I did not realize I had PTSD until this moment, please be careful."

Thankfully, manta rays don't have barbs like stingrays, so Robert was safe from that danger. Robert, his sister Bindi, and his mom Terri have all dedicated themselves to carrying on Steve's work of wildlife advocacy. And clearly, Robert wants to take things to the next level headlining Shark Week, which is one of the biggest TV events of the year.

Shark Week starts on Sunday, July 11 on Discovery. It will also be streaming on Discovery+ as well.

We can't wait to see Robert Irwin in action, although, by the looks of the pictures, it's going to be pretty nerve-wracking!