See Incredible Footage Of Thresher Shark Jumping Almost 20 Feet Out of the Water

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: September 27, 2023
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Many shark species are powerful enough to hurl themselves out of the water. Called breaching, this trick takes a lot of energy. So sharks generally reserve it for going after prey near the surface. However, one clip, captured off the coast of Wales, shows a thresher shark getting almost 20 feet out of the water.

In a short video clip and additional pictures, local wildlife expert Joshua Pedley was able to showcase the amazing power of this animal as it jumped out of the water. According to local news reports, he called it “one of the most simply exquisite pieces of fish-based engineering out there.”

These sharks are not common in this area, making the sight even more spectacular. The shark jumped a total of three times. Pedley was on the water with a group of wildlife watchers looking for dolphins. What they got was more than they expected!

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Pedley spotted the shark off the coast of Ceredigion. This seaside town is in Wales and close to St. George’s Channel, between the United Kingdom and Ireland. Normally, thresher sharks are more common in warmer waters, although they still frequent many oceans and areas around the world. Clearly, this shark is more than comfortable just where it is.

Longest Tail: The Common Thresher Shark

The most notable feature of the thresher shark is the long, whip-like upper lobe of its tail, which is known as the caudal fin.

©Shane Gross/

What Does a Thresher Shark Look Like?

A thresher shark is most easily identifiable by its long tail. The tail is used to stun prey as well as help the animal swim through the water. It makes up about half of its overall length. This particular thresher shark was estimated to be around 6 meters, or 18 feet, long! Typically, thresher sharks reach up to 20 feet at their largest, making this a particularly big shark. They can live as long as 50 years. Based on its large size, we can only imagine how long this shark has lived and what it has seen.

The top part of the tail makes up the majority of its length and is curved. The shark is typically blue, black, brown, or gray on the top, lighter on the sides, and white on its belly. They are one of the more aggressive shark species. They eat school fish, even including large options like herring and mackerel. Thresher sharks use their tails to stun fish before eating them.

Thresher sharks also have large eyes. This helps them see, even in low light. Just another feature that makes them extremely good hunters and predators in the ocean.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © FtLaud/

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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