The Deep Blue Shark
In the world of great white sharks, perhaps one of the greatest was discovered in this lifetime.
This great white shark, known as Deep Blue, is the largest great white shark ever caught on camera by scientists and marine biologists.
Continue reading if you dare to learn more about this fascinating, one-of-a-kind sea creature.
Discovering Deep Blue
Deep Blue, who comes in at 20-feet long, eight feet high, and 2.5 tons, is the largest Great White shark ever photographed.
With massive fins and razor-sharp teeth, it was quite an astonishing discovery for marine biologists.
The unique thing about this particular shark it was likely she was pregnant when she was discovered.
Female great white sharks often tend to remain in solitude at high depths until they are about to give birth, at which point they will head closer to the shoreline.
While it was said that Deep Blue had been seen in the 1990s, it wasn't until 2014 that she was caught on camera off the coast of Guadalupe Island in Mexico during a portion of Shark Week by researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla. When Padilla posted a video of her to Facebook in 2015, it immediately went viral.
She was eventually spotted in Hawaii by a number of researchers who were, at the time, studying tiger sharks in the region. She was scavenging for food from a sperm whale carcass.
Deep Blue Up Close
Deep Blue is quite unique in that she has notable markings and pigmentation on her body. Thanks to her girth, many scientists speculate that this shark was pregnant when she was discovered.
While she is most often identified by her size as one of the largest great whites to ever be discovered, she also has quite a unique pattern on her underside where the white meets the gray.
George Probst, a shark photographer who has filmed Deep Blue, says that "That’s as unique to a white shark as our fingerprints are."
A notable and defining feature that separates her from other sharks is the laceration over the right side of her body, which can be seen in captured footage.
How Has Deep Blue Interacted With People?
Though Deep Blue is the biggest great white known to man, she does not have an aggressive personality.
There is video footage of her approaching a diver in a non-aggressive, somewhat curious manner, as well as being tolerant of other divers around her.
In one case, she allowed Ocean Ramsey, a revered marine biologist, to go swimming with her while holding onto her fins. Of course, prior to allowing him to swim with her, she had already fed on some sperm whale carcass, which may have contributed to her docile behavior.
He was the first person to swim alongside the shark.
However, he was criticized by a number of scientists and marine biologists, including David Shiffman and Michael Domeier, who said that his behavior was unprofessional and could be pinned as borderline animal harassment. Some even say that the shark Ramsey swam with was actually Haole Girl, another very similarly long great white. However, the proof behind that claim is not substantial, by any means.
When Deep Blue was filmed a few years before that with Mauricio Hoyos Padilla in Mexico, the video showed her swimming calmly around the cages, only ever taking a few curious bites at the cage. Padillo, who was on top of the cage at the time, was never attacked.
She has also been caught on footage swimming around with dolphins.
Shooting With Kimberly Jeffries
Kimberly Jeffries, a female ocean photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii, is known for capturing some of the most haunting and exciting photos of Ms. Blue. She spotted the 20-foot shark back in 2019 and capture some of the most famous photographs of her off the Hawaii coast.
Deep Blue - An Ocean Celebrity
This massive great white shark is said to be around 50 years old. Many researchers say that she will continue to grow in size over time, though at a much slower pace than before.
As with most female great whites and Great White Sharks in general, Deep Blue has an estimated life expectancy of around 70 years.
Though reports claim she has been tagged, Padilla denies these claims. As of now, scientists are not able to track her movements. However, she is often spotted in her usual spots, such as Hawaii and Guadalupe Island, during certain parts of each year.
Though she might be the biggest great white ever filmed, she is not the largest shark specimen in history. That award goes to the Megalodon, a prehistoric predator over 60 feet long that toured the world's ocean millions of years ago.
The Megalodon was part of the Otodontidae species, a species that diverged from the great white family. The Megalodon was the world's most powerful ocean predator during its lifetime.
Tracking The World's Ocean Predators
While it isn't possible to track Deep Blue, you can use tools like Ocearch, an interactive shark movement map, to track famous great white sharks all around the world.
This unique, marine biologist-developed GPS device transmits scientific data, including location and depth, to give scientists a better understanding of the behavioral patterns of sharks.