“Sailed six weeks in the atlantic saw this big f****** shark,” he captioned the video, posted Tuesday, May 26, 2021.
Albrecht had a high perch to film the shark, which made onlookers on the deck scream. Some thought the massive shark was a prehistoric megalodon, but commenters on the video said it was most likely a basking shark, which is not usually aggressive to humans, according to the Florida Museum. The brief video had more than 37 million views two days after it was posted.
Here’s what you need to know:
Commenters on TikTok Identified the Shark as a Basking Shark, an Endangered Species, While Some Wondered Whether it Was a Prehistoric Megalodon
Passengers on the cruise ship strained to get a better look as the shark made a wide circle around the boat, leaning onto the railing. Many were screaming, some said “Woah” and “Oh my God.” Albrecht was silent for the first few seconds of filming, then says, “Holy f***.”
Albrecht is a musician with about 74,000 followers on TikTok. His Spotify account says he is a 20-year-old Seattle, Washington-based musician. But it was his shark video that drew attention at the end of May 2021.
“Isn’t that megalodon?” one person commented on his TikTok video.
The Sun reported the giant shark was likely a basking shark, a harmless but massive creature which can reach 12 meters (or almost 40 feet) in length and weigh six tons. Basking sharks feed on zooplankton, which they eat swimming with their mouth open. Basking sharks can be seen from May to September off the southwest coast of England, Wales, Isle of Man and Scotland’s west coast, The Sun reported.
Still, the basking shark is a rare sight. They are an endangered species, protected under the UK’s Wildlife and Countryside Act, according to The Sun.
The megalodon is an extinct shark species, which was the largest fish that ever lived, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The shark’s name stems from two Greek words, meaning “big tooth.”
Megalodon Are Extinct & the Prehistoric Creature Had Teeth Three Times the Length of a Great White Shark’s Teeth
The megalodon’s teeth were larger and thicker than a great white shark, with teeth reaching almost seven inches in length, Britannica reports. That’s about three times larger than a great white shark’s teeth.
With its massive size came “a ferocious bite,” Britannica writes. Its bite diameter was nearly 10 feet, several times larger than the average-sized shark that lives today.
Scientists disagree on how big the shark really was, judging its size from fossil records. Some say it reached about 60 feet in length, while other scientists contend it exceeded 80 feet, the encyclopedia says.
The listing says:
Megalodon was the largest fish ever known, a designation based on discoveries of hundreds of fossil teeth and a handful of vertebrae. Tooth-shape similarities between megalodon and modern great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) suggest that the two species may have been close relatives, and thus megalodon likely resembled that species in appearance—that is, as a bulky torpedo-shaped fish with a conical snout, large pectoral and dorsal fins, and a strong crescent-shaped tail. Estimates of body length are calculated using the statistical relationship between the size of megalodon’s fossil teeth and the teeth and body mass of modern white sharks and other living relatives. This data suggests that mature adult megalodons had a mean length of 10.2 metres (about 33.5 feet), the largest specimens measuring 17.9 metres (58.7 feet) long. Some scientists, however, contend that the largest forms may have measured up to 25 metres (82 feet) long. Studies estimate that adult body mass ranged from roughly 30 metric tons (1 metric ton = 1,000 kg; about 66,000 pounds) to more than 65 metric tons (about 143,000 pounds), adult females being larger (in both length and mass) than adult males.