The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off US Waters

Written by Chanel Coetzee
Updated: May 30, 2023
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Great white sharks occur all around the world. However, this species has high concentrations near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Northeastern Pacific, and North Atlantic. But, the great white sharks off the US West Coast are an isolated population that occurs off California and Guadalupe Island, situated 150 miles from the coast of Baja California, Mexico. But, the largest great white shark off the US was recently spotted in Hawaii. The incredible footage was taken by a National Geographic crew in 2019. This massive shark is around 50 years old and is affectionately named “Deep Blue.” People love hearing stories about sightings of this mysterious shark, so she even has her own Twitter account, @Deep_Blue_Shark.

Largest Great White Shark Off the US: Size

On average great white sharks measure between 11 and 15 feet long, but there is one female that puts the rest to shame, and she has been spotted a few times over the years. Her name is Deep Blue, and she was first spotted in the 1990s. However, the first recorded footage of her was only captured in 2013. She also appeared in Shark Week’s “Jaws Strikes Back” segment in 2014. This gigantic shark measures a whopping 20 feet long and weighs approximately 2.5 tons!

Unfortunately, a tag has never been fitted to Deep Blue, and researchers typically search for her in familiar locations. However, she appeared off the coast of Hawaii in 2019 and was spotted by a National Geographic documentary crew. She seemed to have just eaten, but there could be a chance she was pregnant.

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great white shark
Great white sharks have high concentrations near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Northeastern Pacific, and North Atlantic.

©Ramon Carretero/

Other Large Great White Sightings Off the US

There have been several large great white sightings off the US coastlines. As these sharks migrate far distances, seeing the same shark in various locations is not unusual.

Haole Girl — 20 Feet Long

This massive shark was mistaken for Big Blue. She was first sighted off Oahu’s coastline in January 2019. The footage shows a 20-foot shark, eight feet wide, which was named Haole Girl. Unfortunately, there is not much information on this behemoth, so hopefully, there will be another sighting soon.

Breton — 13 Feet Long

OCEARCH is a nonprofit marine research group that tracks dozens of sharks and provides open-sourced data about their migration patterns. They have tagged one of the largest great white sharks off the US, named Breton. He is a massive male, approximately 13 feet long, and weighing around 1,437 pounds. This nonprofit initially tagged Breton in September 2020 near Nova Scotia. However, his tracker pinged close to North Carolina’s outer banks in March 2023. These electronic trackers will ping whenever the shark’s dorsal fin breaches the surface. Researchers believe that Breton is following the migration patterns of other great whites in the Atlantic and is making his way from the Florida Keys to Canada.

In 2022, Breton also made an appearance just off the shore of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which caused a lot of panic for residents. Luckily, OCEARCH subdued residents by explaining that the giant shark was at least 60 miles offshore.

Ironbound — 12 Feet 4 Inches Long

Ironbound is a massive male shark first tagged in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2019. He measures 12 foot four inches and weighs about 996 pounds. Researchers named the shark after West Ironbound Island, located near Lunenburg, where he was first spotted. Ironbound traveled about 13,000 miles since being tagged. However, in 2022 his tracker pinged off the coast of New Jersey.

Maple — 11 Feet 7 Inches Long

Maple is an 11 feet seven-inch great white shark who was first tagged in Canada in 2021. Since then, she has made her way down to the Gulf of Mexico. But there have been many sightings of her traveling up and down the East Coast. She is a gigantic specimen weighing approximately 1,200 pounds! In March 2023, Maple pinged 43 miles off the Northern coast of Florida. OCEARCH explains that Maple has spent the last two winters in the Gulf of Mexico, but if you want to keep up with her movements, you can track her here. In fact, if you visit OCEARCH’s website, you can follow any of the sharks they have tagged. Not only does it show their most recent ping, but it also shows you their previous location.

Summary of the Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off US Waters

RankName of SharkLength
1Deep Blue20″
2Haole Girl20″

Watch Our YouTube Video on These Massive Sharks

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great white shark leaping out of water
Great white sharks are concentrated mostly in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, the Northeastern Pacific, and the North Atlantic.
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About the Author

I am a 33-year-old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and led me to become the writer I am today. I was very blessed to work with an abundance of wildlife (mainly big cats) and captured my unique experiences in writing. But I wanted to take it further, and I ventured into the freelancing world. Now, I get to spend my days writing about animals; what could be better?

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