A new video has emerged of what’s thought to be the world’s largest Great White Shark showing her teeth and brushing up against a diver. The shark is lovingly known as Deep Blue, the video was taken by Mexican shark expert Mauricio Hoyos Padilla. The beautiful 20-foot creature was featured prominently during Discovery Channel’s 2014 Shark Week.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Deep Blue Is as Wide as a Hippo
According to Padilla, Deep Blue is a 50-year-old female. He says that Deep Blue is proof that shark conservation efforts are working. Sharks in the region rarely get to that age thanks to human overfishing and poaching. In the clip, the shark is shown gliding along Padilla’s cage, showing her massive girth, which Padilla says is a wide as a hippo. Deep Blue played a role in the Discovery Channel’s 2014 Shark Week when she was tagged by experts. In 2014, Deep Blue was pregnant, making her look even bigger. It was noted at the time that the slashes on her left flank indicate that she’s probably been involved in fights with other sharks. During one of the adventures that the tagged Deep Blue brought experts on, she brought them to an elephant seal colony. Deep Blue probably weighs in at about 20,000 pounds, according to the National Geographic.
2. Padilla Took the New Video in 2013 But Only Recently Rediscovered it on His Computer
Padilla says on his Facebook page that he only rediscovered the video of Deep Blue at the beginning of August. He makes it clear in the comments section of the videos that his actions of reaching outside of the shark cage to touch Deep Blue is strictly forbidden. Padilla had earlier released a video of Deep Blue back in June 2015. Around that time, Padilla posted a video of the largest male shark he’d ever come across, who he referred to as “Deep Blue’s boyfriend.”
3. Female Great White Sharks Are on Average 4 Feet Longer Than Males
The Guinness Book of Records states that a Great White Shark, measuring 37-feet, was captured in Canada in the 1930s. Though that measurement is thought to have been inaccurate, according to Shark Facts. A more reliable catch in 1987 in Australia, yielded a 19-foot animal. That size has been verified by shark expert J.E. Randall. Shark Facts says that females average at 16-feet with males coming in at 12-feet.
4. Padilla Is in Guadalupe Now Hoping for Another Sight of Deep Blue
On his Facebook page, Padilla says that he’s back in Guadalupe until December hoping for more sightings of Deep Blue. The fall is the peak time for sightings of large Great White Sharks in the region. You can make a donation to Padilla’s conservation efforts here.
5. Deep Blue’s 20-Feet Is Nothing in Terms of Fictional Great Whites
In Peter Benchley’s classic novel Jaws, the shark is referred to as being 25-foot, which would be a world record. More preposterously in one of the sequels to the movie version, Jaws III (trailer above, it’s amazing), that shark is given a length of 35-feet. The Discovery Channel has been accused in the past of lying about the existence of “Mega Sharks.”