What Are the Biggest Great White Sharks Ever Recorded?


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, which is 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.

Great white shark
Great white shark | Source

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 even if you were swimming upright beside it, it would tower over you.

Even more frightening, if you met it face-to-face, its jaws would be 8 feet wide. 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.

dead great white shark, Mexico, 2012.
dead great white shark, Mexico, 2012. | Source

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.

Vic Hislop with his family
Vic Hislop with his family | Source

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.

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Comments 114 comments

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

It's quite possible that great white sharks were much bigger back in the 19th century than they are now, as they had better food sources and not so many of them were killed by human activity before they reached their full size.

I visited Vic Hislop's shark exhibition in Hervey Bay, QLD. Although he is probably correct in that some shark deaths are being covered up, it quickly became apparent that he hated sharks. By the time I got around to the end, I was quite sickened by his attitude and his desire to have them all killed. Great whites may attack humans,as they have evolved to be apex predators in the oceans, but they do not maliciously seek us out because we are human. We, on the other hand, do maliciously hunt down sharks and kill them, either because we fear them or because we want their fins for soup!

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

As someone who started off supporting sharks, I have to admit that the recent spate of fatal shark attacks in Australia has left me less enamored with their right to live and breed unfettered. Big great whites would likely not be the main target of shark fishermen as getting them aboard boat is a huge task, when they can easily catch thousands of smaller types of sharks.

Having said that, I had no idea that Vic Hislop hated sharks. You would think he must have respected them in some way after spending a life-time hunting them down.

I think we, as by-standers and writers, need to take the broader picture and cover every angle - appreciate that there are people out there who want to see the great white 'taken out' as well as those who want them to stay. All I know is that I would never enter waters where the great whites are known to frequent.

clairemy profile image

clairemy 4 years ago

I actually like sharks, and respect their need to be left in peace, after all the oceans and seas are their territories. I think they are much maligned.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

This is very true. I would never dream of swimming in shark-infested waters!

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

I think that one of the problems with the current spate of shark attacks is that many of them have been caused by human activity. Over fishing in many areas has caused sharks to come in closer to shore, throwing carcasses off the side of boats close to harbours, cage diving with sharks etc. I think that it is a bit arrogant for humans to think that they have a right to choose which creatures are allowed to breed and flourish on our shared planet. The story of the wolves in Yellowstone Park is a great example of this, as after all the wolves were eradicated they started to gradually notice that the trees weren't growing and the riverbanks were decaying. After some research they realised that the removal of the apex predator had changed the behaviour of the deer and moose, which had led to the trees and plants being destroyed. We play god with nature at our peril, as we do not understand as much as we think we do about how habitats and eco-systems work.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

This is very true and the removal and the great white white sharks from our oceans would have unimaginable consequences. As apex predators, other even less desirable creatures would take over, or increase in numbers, affecting something else. Right now, the Mediterranean has a problem with jellyfish and many feel that is directly related to the decline in shark populations, though of course environmental issues need to be considered too (jellyfishcolonies have a direct relationship to pollution).

In parts of the US, fishermen are going out of business because bay scallops have been almost wiped out. They are being eaten by cownose rays which were predated on by sharks, but the decline in shark numbers has led to a cownose ray population explosion.

No-one saw that coming, it happened almost overnight. I fear that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to changing roles within our oceans.

seo4site profile image

seo4site 4 years ago

Too cognitive hub! Thanks a lot

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Great Hub Sharkfacts. Always enjoy reading your Hubs on sharks. The ocean is their domain. It's not the fault of the shark that their habitat and food sources are being altered. They are just adapting to their surroundings. That said, I agree with you and would not knowingly go into the water in an area where great whites frequent.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

You and me can sit on the shore and admire them from a safe distance :)

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

National Geographic were filming while a surfer was killed by a Great White

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

OMG!! How awful! I see the film crew are getting the blame for feeding chum to the sharks, but it is off Cape town that many shark diving companies also chum the sharks so who is to blame? Perhaps it is crazy to surf or bodyboard in shark-infested waters in the first place.

STEVEW13 profile image

STEVEW13 4 years ago from Norwich, England

This is a very insightful hub that I learned a lot from. Fortunately for me I have a phobia of water deeper than my own height so the chances of ever becoming a shark's dinner are incredibly remote. Such fascinating creatures though!

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Hey Steve you did know that most shark attacks take place in waist-deep water, didn't you? Not wishing to frighten you or anything, but sometimes knowledge is power. Stay out of the water where sharks frequent, although to be fair you only have a 1:1000000 chance of being bitten by a shark while in shallow water.

Miss Paula profile image

Miss Paula 4 years ago

This was very interesting, I never know that sharks could get that big. lots of information. Thanks GOD BLESS!!

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Just think of the megalodon - it was 10 times bigger! They're extinct now, we hope!

Shark expert 4 years ago

I think that we have mistaken those large "great whites" as mabye a new species of shark that could be similar to the megladon. My intense research,experimenting, and prof. Hypothosis has brought me to this conclusoin that those two sharks; both 36 and37 feet long could have been some of the last megaldons on the planet. Which You never know, they could still be lurking the waters.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

LOL, don't try and frighten anyone, will you? There is always the remote possibility that a larger species of sharks exists in the largely unexplored deeper seas of the world, but they'd have to be cold water sharks and the megalodon preferred warm waters. Theoretically there could be a new species out there, or an as yet undiscovered one. Certainly the 36 and 37 foot monsters referenced by the Guinness Book of Records probably existed even if they weren't verified by modern day recording standards. Scary thought!

chris cherry 4 years ago

Ive got good news and bad news for shark loversout there.The good news is that there is already a bigger predatory shark than the great white.Its non-scientific name is the wall shark wich may be a relative to the sleeper shark.It was discovered less than 15 years ago.Researchers believe the specimen filmed was well more tha 25 feet long and weighed close to 6000lbs.Unfortunetlyit was found close to the bottum of the mariana trench making it very hard to study or film again.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

I have never heard of it! Know its scientific name?

vikas pai 4 years ago

it is a known fact that great whites measuring 20` have teeth which are 2`` long. A Professional diver has found a great white tooth stuck in a reef measuring 6`` long!!!

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Now that is a scary thought! Any idea where this happened, and was it documented? Vic Hyslop believes there are much bigger sharks in the ocean - this could prove him right!

Andy 4 years ago

I don't blame the sharks, if someone walked into my home wearing only a speedo I'd probably attack them too!

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

LOL. good point!

T4an profile image

T4an 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

Wow, very interesting and terrifying hub. I am so afraid of sharks. Your pictures make me nervous. :)

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

You and me both, T4an! A healthy respect (read that as fear) is needed for those creatures. We have a whole movement going on just now to treat sharks as cuddly toys in need of lots of mothering, but hey - they are wild and extremely dangerous, and we should remember that.

Anyway, you are not likely to meet one up in Toronto, you'll be glad to hear :)

T4an profile image

T4an 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

Thank goodness for that! Still, one day I do plan to go back to the Caribbean one day. :)

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Stick to the hotel swimming pools, just in case! lol

The absolute best thing any tourist resort can do is to have shark-spotters in place, with radio links and flags that they can use to evacuate shore areas when sharks are spotted. Honestly, very few ever mix with humans, or come that near to the shore when humans are around, but when one does, an early warning system is vital. Enjoy that vacation when it comes!

vikas pai 4 years ago

yes it has been documented. it appeared in a 1967 issue of national geo magazine. my dad had a whole collection of nat geo. it don`t remember where it happened though.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

It was possibly a megalodon tooth - as they are commonly this size. A big cousin of the the great white.

Gopher 4 years ago

If it's the harmless basking or whale shark, I support their conservation. The rest are all free game. Also an interview with Vic Hislop indicates that he DOES respect them.


Do you hate sharks?


No, I spend a lot of time swimming with the more harmless species. The ones I hunt I find fascinating. I know I will never learn enough about them to satisfy my curiosity. Mind you I don't like the damage they do. When you spend a lifetime cutting dolphins and other marine life out of their stomachs, it makes you think. I guess it is like asking a fisherman if he hated bream or flathead."

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for that insight. Vic Hislop seems to me to be an extremely interesting man and I think his opinions should be respected - he knows what he is talking about. Unlike scientists, writers and conservationists, as a fisherman he gets his hands dirty; he has the experience to know what he is talking about.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Would you care to say why you think this? I am not supporting the guy -he could be right or he could be wrong, but let's hear all sides of it.

Sicarius 4 years ago

He obviously watched too many Jaws movies..

L@riss@ 4 years ago

I am terrified of sharks. I LOVE animals, I believe everything living has a life for a reason, I believe it is unfair to go out and hunt animals that don't have the right to come hunt us. Sharks can not come out of the water and find us, we find them! They get ONE life just like we do, they have to fight to survive in this world based on instincts alone. We live comfy in out homes with our locks on our doors...they don't have locks to keep us out. It's our stupidity an arrogance that gets us in trouble. I believe in life, respect all living creatures even if they terrify you. It's a good thing to listen to your instincts, if it scares you...stay well away from it! (Unless you are a selfish idiot who just can't bare to stay out of the water of THEIR ocean.)

PS: bull sharks are responsible for more deaths and attacks on humans. They can also survive in rivers connected to the oceans. The great white is under attack for its size and devastation when there are people who intentionally devistate lives everyday. We should hunt down the child molestors and animal abusers and other horrible humans.

To everyone reading this, your life is beautiful...let's respect all living creatures.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for your comment - very nicely put!

The only thing I might add is to beware of humanizing sharks, because they are cold-blooded fish that act on instinct. We, on the other hand, should show them the respect their lofty status in the seas deserve.

Loveless City boy profile image

Loveless City boy 4 years ago from LAS VEGAS!!!!!!!!

The way I see it is this. A shark attack on a person is not news. The day a shark walks out of the water and on to the beach and kills and eats someone is the same day I will began to worry. It's true that people have been killed and eaten by sharks. On the same note however there have been people that have killed and eaten other people. Sharks have more to worry from us than we do them.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

"Sharks have more to worry from us than we do them." Never a truer word spoken!

Galeophobia 4 years ago

The Greenland shark, is known as the sleeper shark. :) it is now being studied more. Go a head and look it up for those curious.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

Or just read here:- - The Pacific Sleeper shark is a member of the same family and there may be more out there.

Galeophobia profile image

Galeophobia 4 years ago

Also for you netflix users, there is an episode on Shark Week, there is an episode where Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs goes to find a Greenland shark. :) It is really interesting to watch.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

I wish I had known you planned on joining HP, I would have put a referral link in that link above! Anyone who is scared of sharks is welcome in my book LOL

Galeophobia profile image

Galeophobia 4 years ago

Haha thanks, I am looking forward to this site. :)

Dude 4 years ago

The Jaws shark was 25 feet long, I thought that shark was exxageratedly big, but the biggest shark is only aout a foot shorter!!! And 6 feet tall!! Now that is creepy... I will never even pick up a surfboard

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

I don't blame you! In fact, I seriously wonder about the mental health of those that do, especially in areas where the great white is known to frequent. I wonder if the 36' and 37' sharks mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records were fact? Vic Hislop seems to think they could be. But you are right, the current confirmed record holder is not much smaller than the rubber one from Jaws, and that is scary!

bach 4 years ago

how could a shark have 25 feet they have no feet dumb ass

Jordan2727 4 years ago

Good read if you are interested in the theoretical possibility that Megalodons could still exist is Meg by Steve Alten. It is a decently written novel (read: PURE FICTION), but presents some interesting, but farfetched, ideas. He also wrote some followups that are ok with the same characters. The alltime greatest is Peter Benchley's Jaws, of course, but his novel Beast is also a good read. Read (or even watch) Jaws and then read Melville's Moby Dick to see the similarities between Ahab (MD) and Quint (Jaws). These are great reads, but it seems that they have affected many people's attitudes towards sharks. Don't let it happen to you. Sharks are wonderful and are much less monstrous than the bees or mosquitoes in our back yards. Don't get it twisted!

Jordan2727 4 years ago

Vic Hislop's opinion has very little value. He is the furthest thing from an objective observer. He equates sharks with monsters and can, therefore, not be expected to have rational ideas about them.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 4 years ago from UK Author

We have to strike a balance in having a healthy fear of sharks, and giving them the respect they deserve as top of the oceanic food chain. I find it just a bit worrying when people try to humanize sharks, and while you are not doing that (I have read articles that are) describing them as 'less monstrous than bees or mosquitoes' is stretching the imagination a little too far. Or maybe not in the case of mozzies - I hate them!

At no time have I suggested megalodons still exist. Some people seem to believe they still live in the deepest parts of our oceans, but that is highly unlikely because those waters are very cold and the megalodon is a warm water fish.

Even the largest great white shark ever is dwarfed by the huge megalodon which happily can remain extinct as far as I am concerned! I cannot speak for Vic Hislop but still think his opinion is valid. Someone who fishes sharks is likely to know a lot more about their habits than the scientist who spends two weeks a year at sea. Then again, it has to be said that man and sharks can and do co-habit peacefully. Was it Sharkweek that tagged all those bull sharks in Sidney Harbour? There were several of the world's most dangerous sharks swimming with thousands of people, and there were no attacks. The rogue shark theory seems to fit a lot of circumstances. Most sharks just ignore us, which is a good thing.

Yes sharks are wonderful. I totally agree with you there. they do a fantastic job cleaning up the oceans, and play a really important ecological role. They should be offered our protection, especially against the shark finning industry.

Aaron 4 years ago

I thought Jaw's was the biggest shark ever caught.....

eddie mani 4 years ago

Im very happy to that creation live in our sea and ocean, government must to protect that continually so that they will not lost. thank u

swifty 3 years ago

sharks are not dangerous we need to protect them not hurt them mostly great white sharks :-(

shame on you

robdotinfo 3 years ago

Don't take this article too seriously - some of the so-called facts and conjectures are just plain silly (23' shark could shrink to 17', c'mon...).

Other statements like those that equate chumming with feeding are also simply not born out by research.

It would be a better article if the author made it clear which statements are facts and which are his opinions.

brittany 3 years ago

awesome facts about sharks radical

jason 3 years ago

i think all sharks should be protected

At 3 years ago

Hang on, a 20ft shark has 8 ft wide jaws? That`s just bull.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 3 years ago from UK Author

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'.

Robert Berard 3 years ago

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 profile image

sharkfacts 3 years ago from UK Author

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.

RTaps 3 years ago

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 profile image

sharkfacts 3 years ago from UK Author

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!

jake 3 years ago

36, 36 feet, probably a great white shark or a mistaken baskin shark, megaladons where usually 78 feet long :3

Robert 3 years ago

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

Robert B 3 years ago

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

jake 3 years ago


lol 3 years ago

i love sharks

Rex 3 years ago

sharks are sweatttt

jimmy smith 3 years ago

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.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 3 years ago from UK Author

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.

Bhgf 3 years ago

Great whites in the med have I been asleep or something I did not know this poolside for me

Done and Done 3 years ago

@ sharkfacts:

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.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 3 years ago from UK Author

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.

han solo 3 years ago

there is no good reason to keep great white sharks around that I can think of

carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 3 years ago from Northeast United States

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 :)

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sharkfacts 3 years ago from UK Author

You're welcome! I agree about sharks being vital to maintain the equilibrium in the oceanic ecosystem.

jojo 3 years ago

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

Aynom 3 years ago

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.

Patrick 2 years ago

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.

gouldz vic hislops good friend 2 years ago

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

christina fizi 2 years ago

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...

tammy 2 years ago

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.

Mark 2 years ago

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.

Mark 2 years ago

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.

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 2 years ago from UK Author

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.

Bliss 2 years ago

Long live the great white shark .

SDB 2 years ago

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.

bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

Fascinating article!

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.

jon 2 years ago

should be extint

nigel 2 years ago

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.

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ratnaveera 2 years ago from Cumbum

Really interesting to read this article about ever biggest white sharks. Thanks for this amazing Hub with nice photographs.

Sneha Sunny profile image

Sneha Sunny 2 years ago from India

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.

Hey too 2 years ago

I was wondering my friend said he caught a 20m shark I don't think they can get that big or can they ???

sharkfacts profile image

sharkfacts 2 years ago from UK Author

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),

but the really enormous sharks (up to 30m) have been extinct for a long time -

Zuraida 2 years ago

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!

Jason93 2 years ago from Taiwan

Interesting Hub! Sharks are amazing creatures! :)

Suzy Miles profile image

Suzy Miles 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great article and very informative but I have to admit I'm not a big fan of sharks... they normally give me the creeps.

Titus 2 years ago

You are spreading misinformation. People, if you want to know about sharks, and especially Great Whites, read a book. Not this sensationalist bollocks!

Jeb Bensing profile image

Jeb Bensing 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

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!

Pingers 2 years ago

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.

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pradiiphira 2 years ago from Ahmedabad-India

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

steven krueger 2 years ago

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........

Phil 2 years ago

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.

Troy 2 years ago

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.

alyson 24 months ago

wow that's huge but I would like to see bigger this sucks lol

rusty 23 months ago

im scared now

Ethan farris 20 months ago

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

shakespere zen 18 months ago

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 troll appears then two then more and on it descends into the depths of bullshit and raging blind ignorance of the world around us 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? the running commentry that infects the wond

Noah 17 months ago

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.

charlesjmitchell1 15 months ago

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.

Ken 14 months ago

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.

Tanner Frisby 9 months ago

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.

Sahanadas73 profile image

Sahanadas73 4 months ago from India

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.

David 2 months ago

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

Summer Miller 5 weeks ago

Thank you so much this was so helpful

sharkman 2 weeks ago

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?

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