The Largest Great White Sharks
Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are huge and powerful warm-blooded fish that have been around for at least 11 million years. Also known as white pointers, their ancestors existed on Earth 400 million years ago, 200 million years before the first dinosaur appeared. This fearsome predator at the top of the oceanic food chain has long commanded man’s fascination and respect.
Though the great white isn’t the biggest shark in the world (that title goes to the whale shark), it is the largest predatory fish, growing up to 20 feet long and weighing a massive 5000 pounds. Females are bigger than males. Female adults reach an average length of 16’, while adult males reach 12’. Every now and then, we hear reports of great whites that reach even greater lengths.
The Biggest One Ever Found? A Harder Question Than It Seems
So what is the biggest great white shark ever found? Well, the answer to that question is not so simple. First of all, most sharks are caught by fishermen, and we all know how truthful they can be at times—I swear it was this big!—when all they caught was a tiddler. There are also some problems with measuring and estimation that can make finding reliable data difficult.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the two largest great white sharks ever found were 36’ and 37’ feet long. The 36’ foot shark was captured off Port Fairy in South Australia in the 1870s, while the 37’ shark was caught in New Brunswick, Canada, in the 1930s. However, since those sizes are so abnormal for great whites, experts have cast doubt on the reliability of those measurements or if they were even great whites at all.
Three of the Biggest Great Whites Ever Caught (And Reliably Measured)
According to shark expert J. E. Randall, the largest white shark reliably measured was 6.0 m (19.7 ft), found near Ledge Point, Western Australia, in 1987.
In 1988, David McKendrick of Alberton, Prince Edward Island, caught a female of similar length: 6.1 m (20 ft) long.
There is also a report of a great white shark found in 1945 in Cuba. This specimen was 6.4 m (21 ft) long and had a body mass of about 3,324 kg (7,328 lb). The length has been verified by shark experts Ellis and McCosker.
Just How Big Is a 20' Great White Shark?
Imagine a 20-foot great white. If, like me you are five feet tall, then the shark is four times your length.
A 20-foot shark will be about 6 feet tall, so it would tower over you even if you were swimming upright beside it.
If you met it face-to-face, its jaws would be 8 feet wide, even more frightening. Eeek! At that size, it could easily swallow you whole!
Some of the Biggest Great White Sharks Found in the Last Century
There have been many tales throughout the years of people finding huge great white sharks. With photographic evidence, it’s been possible for experts to prove or disprove the claims. Here are some of the most well-known findings (in addition to the ones above):
- In 1983, Canadian David McKendrick caught a 20.3 ft (6.1 m) great white shark at Prince Edward Island. This length has been verified by the Canadian Shark Research Centre.
- In 1987, Alfredo Cutajar caught a big great white off the coast of Malta that was reportedly measured to be 7.13 meters long. There’s been some dispute about the accuracy of the number, however, and experts have been arguing over it for years. Shark experts Richard Ellis and John E. McCosker, authors of the book The Great White Shark (1991), have also largely discounted the claim of the Maltese fisherman.
- On May 14, 1997, a great white shark was caught in a set-net in Seven Star Lake, Hualien County, Taiwan. Its length was estimated to be between 6.7 and 7.0 meters, which is between 22 and 23 feet but its length has not been verified.
- In 2009, a massive male great white shark was caught off Guadalupe Island, Mexico, measuring 17.9 feet (5.5 m). He was then tagged and released, allowing scientists to track his future movements.
- In April 2012, two Mexican fishermen caught more than they bargained for in their nets—a 2000 lb dead great white shark. It took more than 50 men to drag the shark from the shore to the docks, where it was later cut up and served to the townsfolk to eat.
The Largest Sharks Ever Caught
36 ft / 10.97 m
Port Fairy, South Australia
37 ft / 11.27 m
New Brunswick, Canada
21.3 ft / 6.49
20.3 ft / 6.1 m
Prince Edward Island, Canada
19.7 ft / 6.0 m
Ledge Point, Western Australia
24 ft / 7.13 m
20 ft / 6.1 m
Alberton, Prince Edward Island
22 - 23 ft / 6.7 or 7 m
Seven Star Lake, Hualien County, Taiwan
17.9 ft / 5.5 m
Guadalupe Island, Mexico
(2000 lb shark - no length provided)
One of the Biggest Great Whites Ever Filmed
Why It’s Hard to Measure Great White Sharks
Maybe you’re wondering why it’s so difficult to come up with reliable shark measurements.
Measuring great white sharks is difficult for a couple of reasons:
- It’s dangerous to be near them in water.
- They’ve not been successfully bred in captivity (for some reason they do not thrive away from the ocean).
- They shrink out of the water, so the initial size might change by the time scientific investigators are on the scene to measure.
- It’s difficult to get good measurements while the fish are swimming.
- They are difficult to catch and land.
- Great white sharks are protected in many oceans of the world and cannot be killed at random.
- Dead great white sharks are eaten at sea by other sharks, and their carcasses rarely wash up on the beach.
That said, programs are now underway to tag smaller specimens, and as they grow, scientists will be able to take readings from those tags since they are linked up to satellites. Hopefully in the future man can learn much more about this amazing beast.
One Shark Hunter’s Opinion
Edit International, a site run by Ron Laytner, has a very interesting article from 2011 in which Laytner discusses discusses Vic Hislop, an Australian on a mission to hunt sharks. A man with unconventional views, Vic Hislop was 60 years old at the time of the article, with over 40 years of experience of hunting down and killing great white sharks. He believes that many more people are eaten by the great white than is being reported.
He accuses the Australian government of masking many shark attacks by recording their deaths as drowning in order to protect tourism. Hislop says:
"At least a hundred swimmers disappear every year here and their bodies are never found. Many have been eaten. I’ve often caught sharks and removed human hands and feet from their stomachs. I even found a human foot still in its sandal."
"There Are Bigger Sharks Out There"
Mr Hislop also believes there are even bigger sharks out there in our oceans, as he has witnessed many great whites 20' or more with bite marks on their bodies, suggestive of even bigger sharks. He believes great white sharks can develop a taste for humans, and that once one does, it will travel from beach to beach devouring humans whenever it feels hungry.
Since sharks swallow their prey whole, killing a shark that has eaten a human will allow the remains to be recovered. But current shark protection measures prohibit such killing, which Hislop believes denies closure to families who have lost loved ones.
Are We Teaching Sharks to Hunt Humans?
Shark nets, put in place to protect beaches, become fast-food snack bars for great whites, who eat the dolphins and stingrays trapped by the nets. According to Hislop while eating their prey, the sharks bite through the nets and then simply swim through to reach the shore. Therefore, shark nets actually attract great whites, bringing them closer to the people the nets were put there to protect.
Hislop says humans are contributing to the man-eating shark problem in other ways. When Australian filmmakers fill wetsuits with fish to try to get the best great white shark attack shot, they teach the great white to associate divers with food. Finally, commercial fishing is wiping out sharks’ natural food, fish, bringing them inshore to find a new diet: human.
Hislop has one last tip: punching a great white to try and deter an attack is a waste of time. Punching a creature with thick skin like rough sandpaper will only injure your knuckles.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Amanda Potter on January 01, 2020:
I'm sorry I do not believe Hislop is correct on his philosophy about great whites having interest in the human species as a new food source. For example they prefer
and we all know they do prefer their seals, fish, stingrays, small sharks, and other marine mammals as well as birds. But yes you're right there has been many attacks recently do to climate change and other factors. But it's mainly been shown from juveniles this behavior is still speculations
as scientists have recently began to learn . But they strongly believe it's just the young shark learning. Yes there are the occasional adults that stayed deeper down most their life and scientist didn't know about them for example Haole girl was one of the larger female great white coming in at 16 and a half foot long. She has recently been discovered off of Hawaii feeding on a sperm whale carcass. Because of her we know their are many undocumented great white sharks. Do to her normal routine she stayed closer to the ocean floor. Research has also proven with trackers great whites like the deeper water deepest on recorded was 3,900 feet they did have what they thought would deeper then the 3,900 feet already on record but the shark disappeared rather abruptly with no explanation due to some other source and/or larger unknown species. All this can be used as the beginning of a factual basis seeing as they have documentation showing great white sharks travel deeper than the average shark itself and they haven't had much need tell now/ or that moment to come closer to the surface and then with humans now spending more time in the ocean people are now making these sharks more prone to crossing our paths. Yes we are now facing new troubles with sharks in general. Of course science has proven recently that once a shark either ascends to the surface ( this is just a scientific hypothesis at the moment) for the first time or is still a juvenile they automatically trying to figure out what you are. To them your new and the behavior they exhibit tells us it is now a must for them. It's kind of like it an impulse they have to investigate. If you look at it objectively and scientifically it's more of a curiosity witch means they don't know what you are. They are like toddlers everything enters their mouths it's all they have to use to investigate. Hislop I don't believe is completely right about some facts but I do believe he is on the money about the shark nets it is true once they get in they can't get out and also with the commercial fishing industry affecting the sharks food source it has reduced their food source immensely. So I agree with that statement completely but human being a new food source no I'm sorry not enough evidence to prove that it is. It's technically just a theory at this moment once hard evidence has been found on if this is true or not then I will be more than willing to retrack my previous statement and I would be willing to do an official apology. I would also like to touch on the topic about larger sharks unknown to us that I do believe is correct . His philosophy on there being bigger sharks at undocumented size probably more along the lines of what scientist feel is unrealistic but more then likely a factual size because like they say science hasn't proven everything about the shark species itself. So because of this I have researched it and I have seen articles and again more research to find fact to back that theory up and I have found photo and video evidence proving similar situations with whales, and sharks having marks measuring to show facts that gigantic shark bites are true. They would have a SharkBite on them scared up were we can identify it a shark bit and/or a chunk taken out of them that identifies shark markings. The size of a shark bite has no other explanation for it except one it is from a shark that is unusually large and I am sorry I do agree with the larger sharks out there that we don't know about statement to. Lots of documentation on it aerial view into the water seeing a huge shark shaped mass unusually large bites on blue whales gray whales humpback whales that are marking measuring closer to sizes that have only been found from fossils of the megalodon itself of course these are only assessments made by going off the measurements of the marking itself that has is now turned to a scar or bite (i.e chunks taken out of their flash ) that is healed. These mark alone in itself show proof don't matter if it's just a jawline scar showing its still proof. So yes I have found information to back his theory on the larger sharks being in our ocean. But then again we can only say for fact that 5% of our oceans have been explored so technically scientists really don't know everything. We need to keep on minds that the ocean isn't out territory we are guests in the sharks territory. Once we entered the water we are no longer the predator we have now just turned ourselves over to become the prey. People please remember this and respect the predator and do your best to avoid becoming the prey.
Thank you for reading hope it was informative and how to understand I am not denying or accepting his claims I feel we should see everything from every angle before we make assumptions
Mark on August 31, 2019:
We had an old saying after a 1000 dives- Enter the water, enter the food chain!
Cary on August 04, 2019:
JeffVintinner on May 05, 2019:
I like the last bit of information. Remember, if a Great White Shark is attacking you, don’t punch it because your going to hurt your knuckles and be wasting your time.
Greg Thompson on March 23, 2019:
Um Mr. Brian sir, you are gravely mistaken we are just the dominant form of reproductive life, we as humans are invasive on other species that does not imply we are a dominant species to any other species occupying Earth. Yes we have intelligence but that makes us no different from a Dolphin. To say we are the superior species is to say that the sun orbits the Earth. Who can really say which species is truly superior? Certainly not anyone of us.
TheOrphanQueen on January 18, 2019:
That comment about megalodons is wrong about both. A full grown adult megalodon would have had a average length of 50-60 feet and if they were alive, juvenile megalodon were just under that 35-feet range. If you going to make a comment make sure it's accurate. By the way Andrew Stills you just got told by a 12-year-old.
TSP: Access Your Account on January 11, 2019:
job posting sites - Yahoo Search Yahoo Search Results
?????????? on November 03, 2018:
Why all the complaining. All you guys are doing is speculation.Until they develop the proper means of measuring a GW in the wild this is all just a bunch of random guessing. Just make sure you guys don't say something you'll regret for being misinformed.
butt101 on October 25, 2018:
Andrew Stills on October 17, 2018:
The comment that the 35 and 36 foot sharks could not have been Megaldons was interesting. The writer saying as Megalodons were 80ft long.Perhaps before they reached their full size they were once 6ft 7 ft then 8 ft 9 10 11 12 13 14 ..........
Robert on September 23, 2018:
Reply to Brian-
Although it is likely ocean blue is the largest GW ever as the 37 foot Nova Scotia shark is thought to be a basking shark. The largest great white ever is the 1983 price Edward island shark as it was verified by a government funded research institute.
Further more the reason ocean blue cannot be named the largest GW shark is because only estimates can be made. As the technique that is used to measure live specimens involves lasers and a shark swimming in a straight line for extended periods of time. As seen in the footage with Ocean Blue she is not only not swimming in a straight line but the divers are not actively trying to measure her, as seen by the lack of lasers. So although highly likely that ocean blue is the biggest, it’s not official and the title falls to the 1983 Prince Edward Island shark
Logan on September 03, 2018:
I appreciate this article about the Great White Shark but I do not know if any of you are aware of deep blue ( The biggest shark in the world)? If you look it up and watch some videos you will know what I am talking about! It was thought to be a 22 footer!
Terry on August 12, 2018:
Trevor, um...that’s not a Great White. I think that’s a 6 gill shark which do get that big(25 ft plus). So while you may not be wrong, THAT pic doesn’t prove anything
j.d on July 31, 2018:
What is goriest shark attack ever caught on video that has not been released to the public because it's too gory?
Shark Fin Soup on July 31, 2018:
I wish chefs wouldn't use shark fins to make soup.
THAT IS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edward Fisher on July 08, 2018:
If God didnt give you fins dont go in the water
Sharkfan on June 29, 2018:
Reply to Brian -
No, we do not 'own the world' that's a ridiculous point of view. We cohabitate the world with millions of different species, sharks being one of them. The ocean IS their world, its their natural habitat and they are specifically designed by nature to occupy the waters. That makes it a lot more their then ours.
You seem rather arrogant about humans being the superior and more intelligent species and then make a ridiculous statement such as "You can’t tell me no one in those towns have a measuring tape". I'm sure if it was as simple as swimming next and pulling out a measuring tape, this whole article would be slightly redundant and probably wouldn't exist.
Mind on June 15, 2018:
Yes sharks do come in land....
Mystery on May 13, 2018:
Every body became shark expert
Ryan on May 09, 2018:
This Brian guy though
Brian on April 02, 2018:
First humans own the whole earth including the ocean. That’s what makes us the dominate species in our world. So stop with the ocean is the sharks or they don’t attack us on land crap. That’s why we humans are the best. Now that said what also makes us the best is the ability to be intelligent and most of us realize we need all species of all animals on earth. So yes sharks should be protected but stop with the bs the ocean is there’s and we don’t own the ocean because we own the earth but need to take care of it for our future and that means all living animals great whites included. Until I see proof (pics,measured) the largest is what it is as shown in real proof with a dam measuring tape not by people sitting or standing next to it. You can’t tell me no one in those towns have a measuring tape. No because most of the time it’s a lie. The scientists that have the boats with the lift on the side of it that actually lifts the shark out of the water and returns it safely I feel is the best way of doing research. I say wait if there is something bigger out there we will find it someday.
kate on March 20, 2018:
sharks are good when they don't eat people
JofreJKD on February 13, 2018:
So... I call BS on much of the info here. First of all, the "mystery" behind why the Great White doesn't thrive away from the ocean is that THEY KILL IT. Being that they are on a strict caloric intake to live (they fall dead on the ocean floor if they are unsuccessful at hunting and run out of energy as they drown if they can't move)... Do you REALLY think they're feeding them seals when captured??? Or whale blubber? They die from a lean fish diet. And NO the mouth is not 8 feet wide on any shark, including Megalodon. Even the fake Jaws shark had a mouth too wide, proportionately. it's head is always waaay narrower than the mid body. The height may get around 4-5 feet high (MAYBE), not including the dorsal fin. And the shark hunter also gets the diet wrong on the increased Great White attacks. They don't depend on fish... THEY EAT FATTY MAMMALS. Fish are few and far between.
For proportion's sake, the primary full bodied Jaws robot from the first movie, which I have personally seen and stuck my arm into it's mouth (say ahhh!), is approximately 26.5 feet in length. So these 20-22 footers are vastly shorter. Now, that being said, the mouth on the robot is too big, the teeth were exaggerated to twice the real size, and the head of the robot was made to be as wide as the body. The head should have been way smaller, and the body way higher in the mid area and also wider.
email@example.com on February 10, 2018:
Leave em alone.
Jaden Ngo on February 01, 2018:
it is the Chinese not Japanese who kills the great white sharks.
eric on January 09, 2018:
can there be a giant shark left in our oceans.....imo...i say yes there can be at least 1 left if not a few....but not in the size range of a megladon but in the 20-30 foot range do think so....i have seen film of what is said to b a great white however its side fins are slightly different then that of a normal great white...it has near the body on the fins an extra curvature on the back end of its fins that stick out...it could be a deform but it also could be a different but rarer breed of the great white that gets above the 20 foot mark....there is different breeds of bull sharks and other known sharks so why not the great white as well...specially this kind since its body looks larger to begin with then a normal great whites of same size and was a male and not a female...it was as big as a preggo great white its size but more sleeker looking without the preggo belly....in the video i saw it actually scared off an 18 foot preggo great white well around the 3 to 4 thousand pound area even....so it makes you wonder since the video wasnt doctored...
Trevor Mizzi on January 09, 2018:
A proof of the great white that was caught in Malta 30 years ago.
Lk on December 28, 2017:
Its really sad that people think sharks are monster human eating machines. You cant blame them for attacking humans. The ocean is their home and we are just visitors. If you dont like it, buy a swimming pool.
jcinter2 on December 23, 2017:
Many big sharks take ONE sampling bite of their prey then decide to eat the whole thing, or not. But for great white, bull and tiger sharks, that sampling bite with razor sharp teeth would take a big chunk of meat from the prey. When it happens to human body, it means lost limbs or chopped torso. Even if the big sharks do not like our bony body, the sampling bite is bad enough to kill. Some small sharks also take sampling bite on beach bathers, leaving badly bleeding wound then attract more other small sharks to take a sampling bite.
dfsdfs on December 20, 2017:
Phoebe on December 04, 2017:
I think the BIGGEST SHARK is the 9 foot shark
amber on October 30, 2017:
the shark in the video is small not big
jason on October 09, 2017:
Vic Hislop is an idiot. Why dosles he think that once a shark tastes human that's all it wants. What a complex
Nonya on August 16, 2017:
I am SO protective over sharks. I can't believe people use them for meat. There are only 1000 GWS left in the world and that number is still declining because of the Japanese!!!
Justin on May 24, 2017:
Vic Hislop is an uneducated moron. He needs to be fined or jailed or both for the amount of damage he has done to our eco system. Great Whites are an apex predator at the top of the food chain. They are vital to the survival and health of our oceans. People like Vic Hislop are an embarresment to all Australians. His ludicrous ideas of great whites getting a taste for human flesh and hunting humans from beach to beach is ignorant & narrow minded. The man is a bloody fool. He should be ashamed of himself. Cashing in on the deaths of such magnificent creatures, spreading fear and trying to incite hatred of Great White Sharks in others. It's people like Vic Hislop that are ruining our beautiful planet. Go and educate yourself Vic.
Bernard on March 26, 2017:
Sharks don't come on land and hunt humans, we have no right to hunt them in the sea. Seeing that majestic creature hung up and bloody makes me very sad. You game fishermen are disgusting pigs.
fixitdude74 on December 13, 2016:
Port Fairy is in VICTORIA, not south australia, there is a picture of the 36ft monster in the aquarium near the breakwater(warrnambool).
c-aten on October 22, 2016:
kill all sharks? Why?
This actually makes me laugh.
Sharks are not "evil". they evolved as predators. To assign some human morality onto some non-human beings like sharks is pretty silly.
The solution is simple. Don't go into the water nor beaches where sharks are. They have every right to be in the ocean, they evolved there. It's like saying we should kill polar bears, since some people get killed by them in the Arctic. or we should exterminate lions since they sometimes kill people in Africa, or exterminate tigers in India for the same reason. Tha'ts pretty dim logic, I feel.
As for this Hislop fellow, well I don't see how shark nets "teach" sharks to hunt humans. Whether they can learn like we can is obviously moot, and then it's pretty simple again as a solution. Humans are land animals, and there's little way that a great white can overturn a ship or a boat to eat the crew or passengers.
People need to take more personal responsibility, and have a more wiser attitude to other wildlife out there.
sharkman on October 06, 2016:
The government's do cover up alot of shark attacks. It's just like jaws. If people are getting eaten left and right no one in their right mind would enter those beaches and definitely not the water so cities loose vacation money from tourists. So if more than 3 atacks happen they simply don't record it and like the shark hunter real life quint, said they rule it a drowning. Drown victims float for a while before they sink and would more than likely wash up on shore due to the tide. Most are attack victims. Sharks are literally right there when you enter the water. Most predators stay near shore for hunting most prey lives close to land. We do not know just how smart they might be, maybe some like to stick with seals and maybe some like the taste of humans, they must have this sense because they prefer seals and pursue them the most but they also eat fish dolphins and whales but if they prefer seals over those others than why not some prefer humans over seals. Anyway, they are a dangerous species that you should avoid at all cost because they will say you, don't be fooled by the government corporations that run discovery channel or the city government beings protected by them. Just think.......would you want to buy a house near a beach that had 20 to 30 attacks annually?
Summer Miller on September 15, 2016:
Thank you so much this was so helpful
David on July 24, 2016:
There is 20 foot white shark with a mouth 8 feet wide not going to happen your specs are a 20 foot shark 6 feet tall with a mouth 8 feet wide I've studied sharks since age 10 never heard anything like that you obviously know whites are huge creatures but your description is Sci fi
Sahana from India on June 11, 2016:
Very informative article. I would like to mention one thing though; oceans belong to the animals dwelling there and not to the humans. Humans are attacked when they trespass on their territory. So, I can't agree with you when you say human safety is more important than the survival of the sharks. Who gave humans the right to destroy and interfere with their habitat? If we humans continue to do that, then yes, we will have to face the punishment.
Moreover, Mr. Hislop, a man who had been killing sharks for last forty years, is actually helping in the destruction of ecosystem. Anyone hunting any kind of animal, whether on land or sea, is a murderer. Such a person's statement about the need for killing a species should not be given any importance.
Like the previous person rightfully mentioned a human has the right to defend himself if attacked, but that doesn't mean we should hunt them down and kill them. There is no way human life is more important than an animal's.
Tanner Frisby on January 12, 2016:
Sharkfacts/Hub Author I agree with many of the comments you have stated and agree with the information given.. however I cannot believe someone as knowledgeable as you would agree that human safety should come first and that gives us the right to kill them (Not exterminate them as you have pointed out but still kill some of them) based on that comment alone that discredits many of the things you have stated. Someone with that much knowledge and respect for them should agree that your life is in your hands when you make the decision to enter into their domain and you are apart of their food chain when you make this decision. They were here long before you and I so what right do we have to kill them when we enter their territory... that is a very closed sighted opinion. They are simply doing what they normally do and are vital to the food chain which you have already agreed with. In NO circumstance should we put human life above theirs when a human makes that choice to be in their territory. I agree we should do everything possible if witnessing an attack and I believe a human has the right to defend them selves if coming under attack at that time but never should we simply seek out sharks near beaches and kill them just because they might attack us. Get those facts straight and your credibility will rise as well as the insight you have provided. I hope this sheds light onto many of you kill first to protect humans advocates.
Ken on August 14, 2015:
In the 1970's I witnessed a great white (20'+) on the pier. It was caught by a fishing boat and brought in to Port Hueneme, CA. From there I thought it was going to be shipped to Marine World, San Diego. Cannot find any references to what happened to this catch.
charlesjmitchell1 on July 09, 2015:
OK Lets put it to rest. The shark measuring 36 Foot was only spotted in Sydney harbor from the mast of a docked sailing ship. it was thought to be a Great white . The shark had picked up 3-4 lobster pots, lines and floats and exited the harbor, The witnesses were reliable seasoned whaling men. Next, the largest Great white recorded was a monster called "Big Fred" that terrorized the local fisherman for several weeks in 1976. It was so big that big game fisherman came from all over the world trying to catch him, unfortunately he became trapped in a fishing net and drowned. The shark measured 25 feet long and couldn't be accurately weighed because the tail broke off when it was lifted up on the scales. I lived in South Australia from 1972-1977 and was present at the weighing.
Noah on May 24, 2015:
Ok listen sharks are not deliberate man eaters they mistake us for prey. When they see us scared and swimming away from them they see that as what their prey does. And remember when we are splashing around it is not our water it is the sharks.
shakespere zen on April 17, 2015:
It is always so amazingly sad and pathetic how an intelligent discussion on the topic of sharks can escalate into name calling and petty childish abuse ..one troll appears then two then more and on it descends into the depths of bullshit and raging blind ignorance of the world around us all..in and out of the ocean...are we the so-called sentient intelligent species?..the more I interact with the web net the more I feel that as humans we bring poison to the world we call home..every living thing on earth is only doing a small part of the overall organism that is life in our tiny part of the universe.
intelligent species?...by the running commentry that infects the wond
Ethan farris on January 30, 2015:
Ok as a proactive hunter and or fisherman I completely agree with the level of respect that must be examined while talking about apex predators in the wild there is a reason why great whites live amongst the creatures of the sea and we as humans must accept that entering the ocean for recreational use is an admittance and acceptance of the chance that we may be attacked by a shark in general even though the occurrences are rare and fatal occurrences even rarer but I must also agree that in the bible God says humans were created In his image and likeness that's why we are the most logical beings on this planet, if great whites could talk and walk and drive cars then I would consider them equals but they aren't and a balance between nature and man must have a distinct line if there is such an occurrence where someone is attacked and killed by a shark as it being unprovoked then it is only just if that shark is slain , there is no reason to go trigger happy and kill tons of sharks like vic hislop because only one out of however many sharks he kills may have human remains inside of it, I agree that Vic Hslop is correct in killing man eaters whom pose a threat but not the rest of the ecosystem living their lives in balance with the other beings of the sea
rusty on November 24, 2014:
im scared now
alyson on October 24, 2014:
wow that's huge but I would like to see bigger this sucks lol
Troy on August 25, 2014:
To that Mark fella, you have a right to "play" like a jackass in the ocean, and any shark that sees fit, has a right to attack you. You're a fool for thinking otherwise. The shark isn't in your element, you're in theirs. A Megalodon needs the proper food source to survive, and if anyone does their research, they'll find that the food source, i.e., large whales etc., are thriving. Humans have the ability to think, sharks operate off of instinct. Its obvious that many people who have commented on this thread, neglected their ability to think. You enter the ocean, and you're out of your element and become part of the sharks'. Remember that. No one is saying that sharks are cuddly, nor are they humanizing them. They're saying you accept the consequences when you knowingly enter a sharks element. Period.
Phil on August 12, 2014:
Humans are still in far more danger on the Roads driving but you'll notice it doesn't stop anybody using cars.
We have no exclusive rights to the Oceans and in fact I have noticed that every living species on the planet seems to have a job to do.....except us.
I'm sure I would not be too impressed to be near the business end of a Great White but they are just so impressive. I have no intention of trying to feed one or 'Chumming' and I'm sure I would be sad if somebody I knew was attacked by one but I still would not want to kill them, they have far more right to be in the Ocean than we do....they were there first. As to what is in the deep oceans, I think there are probably huge specimens.......we know so little.
steven krueger on August 12, 2014:
AddYour Comment..I'm looking for pictures of huge sharks...And its obvious that there are huge rogue sharks still patrolling or oceans..I hope we see more from satellites and yet we may not like what we find. That somewhere right now there is a fifty foot shark that eats whatever it wants whenever its hungry .....And if you are lucky enough to see it and live to tell the tale...unless you kill it or film it no one will believe you...But for those of you that have seen these huge sharks know deep down that a fifty foot shark is out there....just waiting....lurking in the murky deep....And maybe nobody has seen it and lived........
Dr Pradip Hira from Ahmedabad-India on August 05, 2014:
I am really scared with sharks, i don't have any personal experience but from all those Hollywood movies.
BTW after reading your hub I can say that they are really large one and humans looks tiny in front them
Pingers on July 25, 2014:
Great Hub as i live in Melbourne which is down south of Australia.Some of my mates who go surfing only thought that Great whites only eat a dawn i laugh at them there eat at Dust and dawn.And also have mates who go out fishing and see great whites all the time was circling there boats due to fish around them.Which are bigger then the boats that there on you will never see me go swimming in the ocean in Australia that's for sure.
Jeb Stuart Bensing from Phoenix, Arizona on July 04, 2014:
I really liked your point of view with regards to shark size. You have made it clear on how we as humans know so little about our oceans, and the life which inhabbits every spectrum from the Atlantic to Pacific. Great Job!
Titus on July 02, 2014:
You are spreading misinformation. People, if you want to know about sharks, and especially Great Whites, read a book. Not this sensationalist bollocks!
Suzanne Miles from Phoenix, Arizona on June 27, 2014:
Great article and very informative but I have to admit I'm not a big fan of sharks... they normally give me the creeps.
Jason Chan from Taiwan on June 10, 2014:
Interesting Hub! Sharks are amazing creatures! :)
Zuraida on June 01, 2014:
If that is the biggest shark then DON'T KILL IT! It should have been left alone in the wild I LOVE GREAT WHITS AND WE SHOULD PROTECT THEM NOT COMPARE THEM!
sharkfacts (author) from UK on May 06, 2014:
Nope! He maybe meant 20 feet and even they are rare. Biggest shark in the world in the whale shark at around 40 feet (12 m), https://hubpages.com/education/Whale-Sharks-Bigges...
but the really enormous sharks (up to 30m) have been extinct for a long time - https://discover.hubpages.com/education/The-Worlds...
Hey too on May 05, 2014:
I was wondering my friend said he caught a 20m shark I don't think they can get that big or can they ???
Sneha Sunny from India on April 05, 2014:
This is a very interesting hub. I learned some new facts. Shark attacks are terrifying but saying that they "should be extinct" (like one of the commenters said) is wrong. What they do is their natural behaviour. We are the intruders here, not they! We are interfering in their habitat. Animals are scared of us just like we are of them. They attack only to protect themselves or when they mistaken surfboards as their natural prey. If we think we are an advanced species then its our duty to find ways beneficial to both of us. We need to find ways to co-exist. It's their planet too, and not just ours.
ratnaveera from Cumbum on March 31, 2014:
Really interesting to read this article about ever biggest white sharks. Thanks for this amazing Hub with nice photographs.
nigel on March 27, 2014:
no one will believe me, but a man 16 years ago told me that his friend and him use to go fishing on the island in san francisco. they use to use a pretty small boat to get there do to the water not being so rough for ocean water, he said a great white so big just took his friend right out the boat. he said an estimate of the shark was 35feet plus. the man had a missing arm, i didn't ask about that but i believe him because it is possible.
jon on March 22, 2014:
should be extint
Beth Perry from Tennesee on March 10, 2014:
I suspect Mr. Hislop is right about the number of shark attacks being covered over. Lies are as natural to government agencies as sharks are to the oceans.
SDB on February 28, 2014:
The Great White has been here a lot longer than we have and has its place in the oceans food chain. We, as the ultimate apex predator on earth have our place as well. When we enter the ocean we enter that food chain and if you decide to splash around like an injured member of that food chain, it is your fault if you are mistaken and made dinner of. Go splash around in a pool and leave nature alone. Have we not done enough damage already? Look,our oceans are dieing a slow death and when our oceans are empty of life, we to will die. We humans are killing our own home and in the process killing most all other life on our fragile planet. We live and we die let's not take the planet with us. Peace to you all.
Bliss on February 01, 2014:
Long live the great white shark .
sharkfacts (author) from UK on December 26, 2013:
I don't always respond to comments these days, but I can't help thinking you are right. While we don't want to see the eradication of a species, when they kill us, we should (probably) kill them. Finding a balance is difficult, but we as human species using the edge of the oceans should have priority. From one human to another, that is. The sharks would disagree, if they had the intelligence, which they don't have.
Mark on December 26, 2013:
In addition, I appreciate Hislop and anyone else who hunts sharks for all the attacks they've stopped by removing excess sharks from the oceans. I'm sure it doesn't take THAT many apex predators to rid the oceans of pest species and clean up whale carcasses. Don't kill 'em all, but kill a bunch.
Mark on December 26, 2013:
I have the right to go in the water and splash around like an idiot without being maimed or killed by a fucking shark, no matter how majestic and wonderful you think they are. It IS, in fact, acceptable to kill them to make it safer for me to play in the water. Not only is it acceptable, it is advisable and I DEMAND it. The ones that stay out in the middle of the ocean will never have a problem; they come inshore, they're fair game for fishermen. I don't necessarily condone Hislop going out to totally eradicate them, but I have no qualms about him hunting the ones that frequent highly populated areas. I'd gladly go along with him and drive a harpoon in ANY shark that posed a threat to humans.
tammy on November 06, 2013:
I think what we can't see doesn't mean it it isn't real.
No one really knows how big a great white can grow right?
The world has changed in many ways and animals we thought were gone are now showing up again, why?
Since a great white from only what I have read is family to the megadon,
could it get to that size once again?
Only 5% of the ocean has been studied , who knows.
christina fizi on November 05, 2013:
I recently saw a doco about a 3m shark that had been tagged..When the tag was recovered it showed that it had travelled over 4000 km up and down the WA coast, It headed out into deep water and at 700m its body temp suddenly rose to 26 degrees and stayed at that temp...It was found washed up on a WA beach...Something had eaten the gigantic shark, but what ? After years of searching it was discovered that another shark had eaten it... In conclusion...After deploying an under water camera device they not only got footage of more 3-4 m giants feeding on gigantic deep sea squid (the largest ever recorded) from the depths came a male that was 6m and weighed approx 3 tons....I have always had the greatest respect for these animals...and after seeing one so massive in its natural habitat i am in awe... We have only explored 20% of our oceans...There are many more wonderful things that lurk in the chilly depths that are yet to be discovered... I don't know if the shark in the doco was a megalodon...but it was the closest to prehistoric ive ever seen...
gouldz vic hislops good friend on November 04, 2013:
listen here brother , vic is one of my very bestfriends , i work at his shark show at hervey bay qld , so if you wannah get lippy with me , ill bite yah as hard as a megalodon , so don't try acting tough bruz , cos ill lad slap yah
Patrick on October 31, 2013:
Warm-blooded? In someways yes, but not really, sort of a transition from cold-blooded (and they are) and warm-blooded due to the great white's anatomy, but not warm-blooded as a mammal and arguably some birds.
Aynom on October 12, 2013:
I thought the shark pictured got tangled in the nets and not caught by Vic hoslop and for the animals humanity had to be killed as it was distressed I have been to port Philp island were the shark is on display telling you this same storie, Vic is a lair and anyone who has been to the Hervey Bay exhibit will see a lot of made up bullshit.
jojo on October 07, 2013:
i think that although there amazing creatures they can be dangerous some times but I don't think we should harm them purposely I think nature should just take its toll overtime
sharkfacts (author) from UK on September 01, 2013:
You're welcome! I agree about sharks being vital to maintain the equilibrium in the oceanic ecosystem.
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on August 31, 2013:
Interesting hub :) I think sharks in general are a vital part of our aquatic ecosystem...take them away and who knows what could happen. Thank you for this very interesting article :)
han solo on August 28, 2013:
there is no good reason to keep great white sharks around that I can think of
sharkfacts (author) from UK on June 04, 2013:
I don't think I have ever advocated or encouraged the indiscriminate hunting down of great white sharks. I mentioned Vic Hyslop in the article because he caught one of the biggest great white sharks ever, and because love him or loathe him, his opinion deserves to be heard. Human life must come above those of any animal or fish, surely, and if what he is saying is true, then sharks have killed a lot more people than we realise. It is nice to be green and organic and to want to save the planet, but at the same time, we need to strike a happy balance between human safety and species preservation. By the way, I have never entered shark infested waters in my life and never intend to.
Done and Done on June 04, 2013:
Great white sharks are NOT incredibly dangerous to humans... Great white sharks are not dangerous to anyone at all unless you are playing in the water. When people start getting eaten while asleep in their bed, or walking down the street, then we can say they are dangerous to humans.
Executing large majestic sea creatures so that it is safer for us to 'play' in the water is atrocious, sinister, and disgusting. I grew up on the water, and I am on the water almost daily, and I have never feared a shark in my life. The reason I don't fear them is because unless I dive over the side of the boat and splash around like an idiot, I am perfectly safe.
If you choose to surf, or dive, or swim in the ocean, you have chosen to accept the risk that you might succumb to that environment, of which great whites belong. Don't tell people you think it is ok to execute sharks so that your play time can be more safe. Get real.
Vic Hyslop should be jailed, along with anyone else ignorant enough to defend his psychotic blood lust for these amazing animals.
Bhgf on May 28, 2013:
Great whites in the med have I been asleep or something I did not know this poolside for me
sharkfacts (author) from UK on April 26, 2013:
Great white sharks are incredibly dangerous to humans, and it is only natural for us to kill what we fear. While it is good for us to respect the creatures of the sea, we have to caution against thinking of such sharks as cuddly toys. They are not, and never will be. It would be disastrous if we wiped them out completely, but we need still need people like Vic Hyslop with the knowledge and ability to hunt and kill them, when the occasion arises. Human life must take precedence.
jimmy smith on April 26, 2013:
Vic Hislop is everything that is wrong with this world. He is clearly not the full ticket, how you can have such a hatred for a creature of the sea is beyond me, i would compare him to a religious nut preaching hatred, trying to influence people and scare monger them into thinking like he does. I'd happily feed him to the sharks.
Rex on April 24, 2013:
sharks are sweatttt
lol on April 22, 2013:
i love sharks
jake on April 17, 2013:
Robert B on March 20, 2013:
I still have a book called Jack Pollards "fishing Australia and New Zealan"published in the early 1970s it mentioned that around the turn of the last century 1900s - in or around Port Stephens there was a shark estimated to be around 80 feet long that was swallowing crabpots from a commercial fisherman - one after another. Also divers found shark teeth aound 6 inches long around Broughton Island buried lightly in the sand - can anyone confirm this - it is in the sharks section which is quite extensive in this book . Does anyone still have a copy of this book and please confirm that what I am saying is true
Robert on March 20, 2013:
I remember seeing a news bulletin around the year 2000 or close to there that a 23 foot white pointer was caught in NSW and was still alive and thrashing about on a wharf - does any body remember it - if I remember correctly it was caught by a fishing trawler
jake on February 27, 2013:
36, 36 feet, probably a great white shark or a mistaken baskin shark, megaladons where usually 78 feet long :3
sharkfacts (author) from UK on December 31, 2012:
That is a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. A 24.6 foot great white is an impressive size and of course, perfectly possible. This would make KZ7 the biggest 'un-caught' great white in the world, unless anyone knows of a bigger one. Of course he will be quite a bit bigger now as he will have grown over the last 10 years. Obviously he/she is not a killer shark and so causes no harm to humans. You wouldn't have known that, I suppose, when you were diving with him! WTG! What a story!
RTaps on December 30, 2012:
I have dived beside a 7.5m Great White at Bird Island, Tomohawk beach in Dunedin, New Zealand. We could accurately measure the shark as as it swam around me it was seen by my onshore diver above on the rocks, he saw that it was the exact length, give or take a few mm, of the distance of two large rocks that it swam slowly past, i.e. it's head was at a point on the first rock while it's tail was at a point on the last rock. The water was less than 5m deep, crystal clear and my friend on the rocks had a birds eye view. After I surfaced, he explained to me how big the Great White was and how he had measured it. On another day we took a piece of rope down and spanned the length from the point of the first rock to the point on the second rock, cut the rope then measured it on the surface, 7.5m. Very impressive specimen that was very relaxed and graceful in the water for it's size. It didn't show any sign of aggression (thankfully) and was amazing to dive with. The only sour note was when we got back to the beach (courtesy of the surf patrol as we weren't going to swim the few hundred meters back as we'd swum out to the island) several fishing boats launched to try and catch the shark (This was approximately 10 years ago when you could still legally catch a Great White shark). This shark has been seen numerous times around the Otago coast in New Zealand and has been nicknamed KZ7 after the Kiwi Magic boat raced in the 80's for the Americas cup challenge. Hopefully I will get to see it again one day and get some footage this time.
sharkfacts (author) from UK on December 30, 2012:
The trouble with old data is not that it isn't accurate, but that it hasn't been verified by whatever criteria they use now to officially measure fish. I have no doubt there has been and will again be white pointer sharks exceeding 30 feet in length. They don't seem to stop growing until they die. I highly doubt the accuracy of an 80 foot long great white being spotted - it is more likely to be a whale shark or something. Megalodon shark teeth are still being found, but I highly doubt if any still exist alive today.
Robert Berard on December 29, 2012:
The answers provided below are way off the mark, there is an official record of 36 feet 6 inches during the late 1870's in Australia. It was netted but not weighed. It was either Port Stephens in NSW or Port Lincoln in South Australia. A 23 footer was netted in Australia about ten years ago- it was still alive when landed on a wharf. I believe it was caught near Sydney. What Ive heard is a lot of nonsense and see a lot of touched up photos - my answer to this nonsense photos is stop wasting peoples time showing sharks around 80 feet long.
I quote a reference from the Australian and New
zealand fishing book published by Jack Pollard in 1970 - a shark about the size of the ancinet Megalodon was sighted around the early 1900s swallowing crab pots - it was estimated to be around 80 feet long - this is supported by the finding of shark teeth around 6 inches long on the sea floor close to Broughton island just outside Port Stephens
sharkfacts (author) from UK on December 20, 2012:
Ah you spotted a little poetic licence - a 20 foot great white has mouth that is about 3' - 4' feet across. This size can double as it opens its mouth to attack. The jaws and teeth are not cartilage like the rest of it body, but the joints for opening them are super-flexible, plus the shark pull its snout back up at the same time, allowing the mouth to open wider. This gives an area open-mouthed area of 6' - 8'.
At on December 20, 2012:
Hang on, a 20ft shark has 8 ft wide jaws? That`s just bull.
jason on December 19, 2012:
i think all sharks should be protected
brittany on December 03, 2012:
awesome facts about sharks radical