A marine scientist is baffled by what is being called the largest shark ever caught on camera. A recent video taken near the Island of Guadalupe in Mexico shows a monstrous 6 metre Great White Shark swimming around the vicinity of a group of scuba divers in a cage. The 6 metre beast has now adopted the name of “Deep Blue” however, further enquiries are pointing towards how this colossal shark reached this size.
The enormous female shark created an online sensation when the video clips were shared online by shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla on his Facebook account. Mauricio Hoyos Padilla is the director of Pelagios-Kakunjá A.C., a non-profit organization that focuses on sharks and other open-water species.
Underwater camera footage show “Deep Blue” circling the shark cage that held Mauricio Hoyos Padilla and the other divers. Another video from a different angle show the huge shark giving the divers somewhat of a “high five” through the open bars of the shark cage.
Even though great white females are typically larger than males, they average just under 5 m in length. Deep Blue's exceptional size, it turns out, is probably a combination of genetics and environment, experts that analysed the footage say.
Great White sharks need decades in order to reach their full adult potential size. These terrors of the sea don’t ever stop growing throughout their lifetimes. Therefore, an enormous shark such as Deep Blue is much likely an older shark.
Gregory Skomal, a fisheries biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and his colleagues found that great white sharks growing spree slows down as they age. Research suggests that Great White males take 26 years to reach sexual maturity, whereas females aren't ready to have babies until they're about 33 years old, much later than once thought. That study also showed that great whites could live to be at least 73.
Padilla estimated that Deep Blue was about 50 years old, based on her size. Skomal's study hints that there may be much older sharks than Deep Blue out there, and they could be even bigger.