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See The 21-Foot Shark That May Be The Largest Great White Shark on Record

Written by Kirstin Opal
Updated: July 10, 2022
Image Credit Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.com
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Great white sharks are one of the planet’s apex predators. These creatures are the world’s biggest predatory fish, with a reputation for power and speed. Great white sharks grow to be around 15 feet long on average. However, there are some of these beasts that can grow much larger.  

Deep Blue is one of these sharks; she is the world’s largest female great white shark. She’s around 20 feet long and weighs more than 5,500 pounds. Most sharks tend to live between 20 and 30 years. Great whites, however, can live up to 70 years and Deep Blue is in her 50s! 

Divers give thanks to a tag she was implanted with. Mark Mohler and Kimberly Jeffries were able to identify her as Deep Blue, and marine specialists could recognize the distinctive marks on her body. 

Deep Blue, according to experts, is the biggest great white ever observed and has survived for more than five decades despite pollutants, hunting, and angling, all of which shorten the lifespan of great whites. 

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Experts claim that, despite their reputation as fearsome sharks, Deep Blue does not have an aggressive nature. She was thrown into the limelight in early 2019 when she was discovered feasting on a whale corpse by a National Geographic documentary team off the coast of Hawaii.

Photographer Mark Mohler caught underwater film of marine researcher Andrew Gray and colleague photographer Kimberly Jeffries swimming mere feet from Deep Blue, cameras in hand, capturing rare images of the shark.

The footage, seen on the Youtube Channel “Truly,” shows just how enormous this apex predator is compared to the humans swimming beside her. Female great white sharks are typically bigger than males and prefer to live alone. While pregnant, they dwell at great depths and approach the coasts to give birth. 

Deep Blue was swimming about the boat as Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, a marine scientist and shark motion specialist was doing research with his crew. Michael Maier, a videographer and scuba diver, documented the historic meeting from a comfortable distance.

“On the second day, I was in the water, and we had to wait,” says Maier, “But all of a sudden, there she came. Deep Blue was very calm and just doing circles around us. That’s when we realized how big she was.”

Deep Blue swam about the boat’s cage for a bit before disappearing into the depths. Padilla wound up getting a close encounter with the ocean’s queen, high-fiving her like an old friend. As she swims in circles around the diving cage, there’s something elegant and calm about her. 

“I was thinking, ‘what in the world is this?’ Because it was way bigger than any shark I’d expect,” Gray commented about his experience. The crew speculated that the shark was pregnant based on the sight of her stomach, yet her larger stomach might simply be due to her incredible size.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8raLJHzWqVA

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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