Deep Sea Battles: Great White Shark vs. Blue Marlin

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: June 13, 2023
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Both grow so large, it’s hard to imagine how much they weigh or how little you look swimming next to one. But in the case of a deep sea battle between a great white shark vs. a blue marlin, who wins? Let’s explore their strengths and find out!

Comparing a Great White Shark and a Blue Marlin

Great White SharkBlue Marlin
SizeAbout 20 feet long Over 4,000 poundsAbout 12 feet long
Up to 2,000 pounds
Speed and MovementUp to 35 miles per hour (MPH)Up to 50 miles per hour (MPH)
DefensesBody slamming, biting, fleeingFast swimming, injuring with their pointed bills
Offensive CapabilitiesBody slamming, biting, tearing through fleshHitting with speed, slicing with their pointed bills
Predatory BehaviorAmbushing, using the cover of darkness and depthAggressive use of speed and pointed bills, sometimes killing for fun

Key Factors in a Fight Between a Great White Shark and a Blue Marlin

Great White Shark vs. Blue Marlin: Size

Blue marlins grow to incredible sizes measuring up to 12 feet long and weighing up to 2,000 pounds. If you were to compare a blue marlin to any other type of fish swimming around in the ocean, you would think nothing stands a chance against it.

However, a great white shark is a fish, and it can weigh up to 4,000 pounds, double the size of a blue marlin. Not only that but a great white shark can grow as long as 20 feet and with a size difference like that, a great white shark has a major advantage. Despite this, you have surely seen scenarios where size didn’t matter, and the underdog came out on top.

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Blue Marlin
Blue marlins can grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 2,000 pounds!


Great White Shark vs. Blue Marlin: Speed and Movement

Although the great white shark trumps the blue marlin when it comes to size, the blue marlin is a lot speedier. Whereas the great white shark can only make it up to 35 MPH, the blue marlin can make it up to 50 MPH! If it’s a race, obviously the blue marlin wins. But if there’s a chance for a blue marlin to flee, this is a fantastic advantage. If the great white shark is fleeing, it won’t be able to get away from the blue marlin.

Great White Shark vs. Blue Marlin: Defenses

Both great white sharks and blue marlins defend themselves in many of the same ways they attack. Great whites may bite or body slam in a confrontation but in some cases, they may choose to flee. Blue marlins are more take-charge and have their speed and pointed bills which allow them to slice through flesh when they’re feeling threatened.

Great White Shark vs. Blue Marlin: Offensive Capabilities

Great white sharks use their entire bodies to slam prey animals that they’re interested in consuming. They use their razor-sharp teeth to bite and tear through flesh. Blue marlins attack a bit differently. They use their long, pointed bills to slice through their prey.

They also have the advantage of their high speeds to reach their prey and tear through it. If a great white shark body slams a blue marlin, the blue marlin is going to have some trouble. But the blue marlin also has speed on its side. That means it can retreat and swoop back to use its pointed bill like a carving tool on the great white shark’s body.

Great White Shark breaching the water
When great white sharks attack, they body slam their prey to disorient it.

©Alessandro De Maddalena/

Great White Shark vs. Blue Marlin: Predatory Behavior

Great white sharks are fantastic at using darkness and depth as their cover when they are getting ready to ambush their prey. They’ve adapted to sinking down low and using their speed to propel them upward toward the water’s surface when they find something they want to feast on (like a seal).

Blue marlins are known for their aggressive nature, and they use their speed and their sword-like bills to injure and kill their prey. An interesting fact about blue marlins, however, is that they appear to kill for pure enjoyment at times. That makes them even more sinister and dangerous in the water.

Great White Shark vs. Blue Marlin – Who Wins?

In a fight between a great white shark and a blue marlin, a great white shark would win. Even though blue marlins have few predators, great white sharks are one of them. This tells you that a great white shark can not only overpower a blue marlin, but it can lick its lips and savor its meal after it attacks.

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Great White Shark vs Blue Marlin

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a quirky cat mom with a love for books, thunderstorms, and comfy couches where she cozies up with her laptop to write her heart out. Her writing style combines engaging storytelling, vivid imagery, emotional resonance, and educational depth to create a compelling and informative reading experience for readers like you! Her passion and humor stamp her work with a voice all her own and her sense of wonder creates a fantastical narrative that allows you to explore the fascinating world of wildlife through new eyes.

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