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Largest great white shark ever recorded seen feasting on dead sperm whale near Hawaii

The deadly predator is a Shark Week icon believed to be 50-years-old

Chris Riotta
New York
Thursday 17 January 2019 18:54 GMT
Largest great white shark ever recorded seen feasting on dead sperm whale near Hawaii

Divers near the Hawaiian island of Oahu made a rare discovery over the weekend, capturing close-up photographs of what’s believed to be the largest great white shark ever recorded in history.

The predator — nicknamed “Deep Blue” and estimated to be 50-years-old — weighs in at 2.5 tons. It was tagged by scientists when it was last spotted of the coast of Mexico more than 20 years ago.

Mark Mohler and Kimberly Jeffries saw the shark feasting on a dead sperm whale on Sunday, boldly swimming alongside the seven-metre giant and capturing stunning pictures of the experience. It can be seen chomping on the whale in videos recorded by the divers shortly after a gam of tiger sharks first made the discovery, feeding on the carcass before Deep Blue arrived.

Researchers believe the great white managed to grow so large due to its age. The deadly shark was reportedly featured several years ago on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, a marathon television series dedicated to all things sharks.

Ms Jeffries, who shared images and videos from the encounter online, captioned an Instagram post writing, “I waited quietly, patiently, observing as she swam up to the dead sperm whale carcass and then slowly to me, passing close enough I gently put my hand out to maintain a small space so her girth could pass.”

“I know some people criticise touch but what some don’t realize is that sometimes sharks seek touch, she swam away escorted by two rough-toothed dolphins who danced around her,” she continued.

Along with other activists, Ms Jeffries has called for a bill to be re-introduced in the Hawaii legislature that would ban the killing of sharks and stingrays, typically for their fins, which are considered a delicacy in several international cuisines.

Mr Mohler, who also shared photos from the experience online, said he was travelling to Hawaii for an “all-you-can-eat vacation”.

The divers reportedly confirmed Deep Blue’s identity with an organisation known as the white shark authority.

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