The Biggest Great White Ever Spotted Off Georgia’s Coastline

GA Shark
© vladoskan from Getty Images and 200mm from Getty Images Signature/ via

Written by A-Z Animals Staff

Published: January 26, 2024

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Summer and spring are ideal times to enjoy the beaches of Georgia and swim in the Atlantic Ocean along the southeastern coast of the United States. This region boasts a rich ecosystem with various marine creatures, including the often-feared sharks, migrating close to the shore.

Among these sharks, the great white shark stands out as particularly notorious. Known as the largest predatory shark species, they pose a risk to those venturing too far from the shore.

Great white sharks are distinctive for their streamlined, torpedo-like shape, dark upper bodies contrasted with white underbellies, and formidable jaws housing around 300 serrated teeth. These formidable predators are sometimes spotted along Georgia’s coastlines.

Now, let’s introduce the largest great white shark ever recorded off Georgia’s coast,

How Big Do Great Whites Get?

great white shark

The great white shark can reach a maximum length of 16 feet and weigh up to 5,000 pounds.

©Ramon Carretero/

Great white sharks are among the biggest shark species globally. They continue growing throughout their lives, with their growth rate slowing down as they age. These formidable predators can reach lengths of up to 16 feet and weigh as much as 5,000 pounds.

Typically, female great whites are larger than their male counterparts, making it uncommon to encounter a male great white measuring 25 feet. Fishermen often face challenges when attempting to catch these sharks from the ocean.

Are Great Whites Aggressive?

great white shark

The great white shark is one of the most aggressive sharks in the world.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/

While they have been overly dramatized in movies, great whites are still one of the most aggressive sharks worldwide and are sometimes called the wolves of the sea. The only other sharks that come close to their ferocity are the tiger and bull sharks. Great whites are fierce fish with only a few rivals in the ocean. There is almost no animal underwater that the great white cannot take on.

The Largest Great White Ever Found off Georgia’s Coast

great white shark leaping out of water

The largest great white shark ever found off Georgia’s coast measured 13 feet long.


Georgia is known for many things but not common shark sightings or attacks. According to news reports, the largest great white shark ever found off Georgia’s coast was a 13-foot male shark found off the coast of Tybee Island, GA. This large visitor weighed about 1,500 pounds. At 13 feet, the shark named Breton is more than twice the average human’s height and would be a scary sight underwater.

What Do Great Whites Eat?

Great white sharks are carnivores. Despite the abundant ecosystem in the sea and ocean, these large sharks can be considered picky. To attain their large sizes, these highly predatory sharks go after animals rich in nutrients. Thus, they might not feed on a sea snake, unlike the tiger shark, which feeds on almost any prey around, and sometimes, garbage.

Juvenile great whites, often about six feet long, feed on small fish and stingrays. On the other hand, adults feed on larger prey, such as dolphins, seals, and sometimes, whale carcasses.  

Where Do Great Whites Live?

Great whites are highly migratory and are globally distributed in temperate and tropical seas. These sharks can be found worldwide except in freshwater habitats. The bull shark is the only shark species that is capable of surviving in freshwater. Great whites can be found in abundance in South Africa, California, and Australia.

What Is the Largest Great White Ever Recorded?

The largest great white ever recorded is named Deep Blue. According to news reports, the female shark measured 20 feet long and weighed over 5,000 pounds. Further reports claim that the shark was pregnant when her weight was estimated, but she is still the largest ever recorded.    

Can a Human Outswim a Great White?

Great white sharks are the ocean's apex predators.

Great white sharks are one of the fastest swimming fish in the ocean and can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.


Great white sharks can reach speeds of up to 25 mph inside the ocean, while the average human can reach a top speed of about five to six mph within a short distance. Thus, humans are incapable of out-swimming these ocean monsters. The great white’s powerful tail allows it to dash at top speeds and even breach the water surface to capture prey.  

How Many Shark Attacks Have Happened off Georgia’s Coast?

Great white sharks are the most responsible for shark attacks on humans worldwide. However, there have not been as many shark attacks as one would imagine. According to ISAF, there have been less than 20 shark attacks in Georgia in over 100 years. Doing the math, the probability of getting bitten by a shark off Georgia’s coast is almost nil.

In 2021, there were only two recorded shark attacks in the state, and neither was fatal. These numbers pale compared to states like Florida, which have had close to 900 shark attacks.

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