Marine scientists came face to face with what is being called the biggest shark ever caught on camera in a recent video taken near Mexico’s Guadalupe Island.
The great white shark named deep blue made a colossal impression in video clips shared on social media by shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla. The underwater footage shows Deep Blue circling a shark cage holding Padilla and other divers.
Researchers estimate that the 20-foot shark is about 50 years old, based on her size. Great white sharks need decades to reach adult size, and they continue to grow throughout their lifetimes. So, a much-bigger-than-average shark, like Deep Blue, is likely an older shark. Sharks that live in deep, cold water could be much older — well over 100, according to researchers.
In this clip, the huge shark appears to be giving what some called a “high five” to Padilla who is standing outside the cage as other divers watch in amazement.
This big mama wasn’t just longer than the average great white; she was also very wide around the middle, a sign of pregnancy.
“Being “50 and pregnant” isn’t a big deal for a shark,” Padilla said, before adding: “Once females reach sexual maturity in their mid-30s, the sharks can continue to reproduce for the rest of their lives.”
Satellite tracking technologies are revealing more about great whites and their lifestyles, and scientists may yet discover that 50-something giants like Deep Blue are not so rare after all.