You’ve probably seen this shark video all over your Facebook feed. A massive Great White shark swimming near a diver’s’ cage. Even more incredible, is the diver seemingly high-fiving the shark as it approaches it.
The close encounter with the huge Great White happened in 2014 off the coast of Guadalupe Island in Mexico. The diver in the cage? That’s dive master Joel Ibarra.
Why the hell would he reach out towards this huge shark? He was trying to protect it.
Shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, who was with Ibarra, told Live Science Ibarra was making sure the shark didn’t get hurt as it approached the dive cage.
“It was really close to the cage, and they have pointy ends. It is so big it couldn’t turn properly. So he was trying to push her away, because he didn’t want her to get hurt,” said Padilla.
There are more modern, reliable records of Great White sharks caught.
This Great White shark was caught off the coast of Cuba in 1945. The measurements taken at the time suggest the shark was 21 feet long and pushed the scale at an estimated 7,000 pounds. These numbers aren’t officially recognized though. Still, if I saw that thing lifted out of the water – I wouldn’t swim there anymore.
In 1988, a Great White measuring 20 feet long was caught by David McKendrick at Canada’s Prince Edward Island. This shark is recognized as the world’s largest accurately measured Great White.
Several other Great White sharks allegedly measured over 20 feet long including this one caught in Taiwan in 1997.
Without accurate measurements, it’s impossible to say if Deep Blue is the biggest Great White ever. But, it is the biggest one ever seen high-fiving a diver.