Watch A Great White Shark Casually Swim Up A Massachusetts Salt Pond

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 19, 2023
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Great white sharks are the planet’s largest predatory fish, with typical lengths of 15 feet. The biggest known is said to measure 23 feet long and weigh 2 1/2 tons. Steven Spielberg’s Jaws film, which features a deadly man-eating shark, made the creatures even more famous. In truth, they only attack people on rare occasions, with just 350 verified incidents to date. They still are fearsome carnivores that primarily hunt large marine mammals for nutrition, such as seals, sea lions, porpoises, dolphins, and smaller whales.

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They live mostly in coastal areas and can be seen in oceans all around the world. Their coastal dwelling nature is largely attributed to their prey species. The last thing the people of Massachusetts expected to see in a local salt pond was a great white shark. 

Stranger in a Salt Pond

A shot of the beautiful wild great white shark underwater

Great whites typically inhabit open coastal ocean waters, not small, cramped ponds!

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A 14-foot great white shark became stranded in a salt pond in the Elizabeth Islands. Although there had been isolated sightings of great white sharks throughout the years, this was the first time many islanders, and even some state authorities, had ever seen one up close.

A YouTube channel named “jrepnin” uploaded footage of the giant finned predator casually swimming in the shallow water. A bad storm with an unusually high tide opened up this salt pond which let the shark in. 

According to a lecture made by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, there are more than 5,000 shark reports off the coast of Massachusetts.

From the shore, people were taking in the sights. Many people were frantically racing back and forth in order to watch this great white shark and profit from it. The Elizabeth Islands are completely privately owned, and the locals were bothered about the attention generated by the beast. 

The dorsal and caudal fins of a great white shark breaking the water's surface

Though shark attacks on humans are relatively rare, they still make for an incredibly frightening sight.

© De Maddalena

This poor shark was trapped in the salt pond for about a week. Soon enough professionals found a way to get him out. 

Ernie Eldredge, Chatham fisherman says, “We came back with a bunch of people and multiple boats and multiple firehoses and pumps and we started trying to steer it out manually, spraying it in a coordinated effort.”

John Chisholm, a state shark biologist working with the Division of Marine Fisheries chimes in, “In the end, they used the fire hose and got behind it with the fire hose and they were kind of cattle herding, but it was shark herding. And all of a sudden it decided it was going to leave. We were sitting there in the boat and it came up and it turned right beside us, and it kind of rolled up on its side when it did. It bumped into the side of the boat, and we just kind of reached over and petted it, and off it went.” 

More Amazing Great White Shark Videos You Might Enjoy

The great white is one of the most infamous and fascinating species of sharks found in the world’s oceans today. These powerhouse predators have showcased their might on video in a variety of thrilling acrobatic displays. They might be doing this to capture fast-moving prey from underneath and use the element of surprise. However, they also are known to dive deep into the water, as low as 4,000 feet deep in some cases.

In the next clip, a shark can be seen leaping out of the water and attacking a photographer’s drone.

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

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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