Watch a Gigantic Goliath Grouper Try to Swallow a Diver’s Whole Head in a Single Gulp

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara)
© Jonathan Churchill/

We hear the phrase “become one with nature” quite often in everyday language. What does that even mean? According to Psychology Today, this refers to us becoming “one with the universe. A reassuring sense of harmony and connection with the world infuses your consciousness. It’s an experience that matches up with the knowledge of your own dependence on and connection to the world.”

The same can also be said when we become one animal in the wild. There is something so serene and powerful about being close to animals that are not in captivity. They are in their natural habitat and have so much to teach us about their way of life and how simple life is when you strip away the man-made things that often get in our way as humans. 

However, let’s not mistake this beauty for the power these animals can hold. Because as we know, wild animals are wild, and that means they are unpredictable. No one truly knows how every wild animal will react. 

The giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), also known as the brindlebass, brown spotted cod, or bumblebee grouper, and Queensland grouper in wildlife aquarium, Show big mouth, Head, Eyes and face.

Wild animals can be unpredictable, which is why you should always exercise caution in any encounter.


The video posted below takes us to the depths of the ocean, where we see several divers documenting their experience near a school of fish. It is quite a beautiful sight to see all the fish swimming so closely to these divers. This is what we mean when we say by being one with animals.

Suddenly, these divers get to experience something amazing. A Goliath grouper is coming up to them. It is easy to imagine when looking at this fish that he weighs 500 pounds, according to their YouTube channel. 

As the large Goliath grouper goes back and forth, the divers remain still to allow it the room to roam around as he pleases. The goliath grouper places his entire mouth around a diver’s head without warning! Trying to see if he can swallow it, he realizes this man is too big, and he backs off and swims back a few feet. 

Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) Facts

Giant grouper

Giant groupers can measure 8.2 feet long.


The Goliath group of the family Scombridae can be found in Africa, North America, and in South America. While this specific goliath grouper was 500 pounds, goliath groupers are known to be able to weigh up to 800 pounds, which is absolutely incredible for a fish if you think about it.

This large fish has a healthy appetite for snappers, eels, small fish, and crustaceans. 

Even with their large size, they will still have predators. Reef sharks, killer whales, and even other groupers are known to hunt and eat them. 

How Large Are Adult Goliath Grouper?

National Park Service diver Paul O'Dell against an Atlantic Goliath Grouper at Dry Tortugas National Park.

The largest Goliath grouper on record weighed an impressive 680 pounds.

©Brett Seymour, Public domain – Original / License

Goliath grouper, also known as jewfish and itajara, can grow up to 800 pounds and have lengths of up to 8.2 feet. The largest itajara on record belongs to a giant fish caught off the southern coast of Florida that weighed 680 pounds and was seven feet long. This species is currently protected under federal law.

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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