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.
The shark is nicknamed Deep Blue. Who else thought of Samuel L. Jackson in Deep Blue Sea just now?
The research team estimated Deep Blue is around 20 feet long and was pregnant at the time the video was shot. A typical female Great White shark is around 14-17 feet long.
Deep Blue was filmed and tagged as part of 2014’s Discovery Channel Shark Week.
Deep Blue is a monster, but how does she compare with other record Great Whites?
There has been some controversy over the largest Great White sharks ever recorded. For years, two Great Whites captured in the 1870s were believed to be the biggest ever.
One was caught in Australian waters and was measured at 36 feet.
The other was caught in New Brunswick, Canada and measured at an astonishing 37 feet.
Researchers were always skeptical of the measurements since they are so much bigger than any other recorded Great White shark.
The shark caught in Australian waters was probably misidentified as a basking shark. The largest basking sharks can reach lengths of 40 feet, although they tend to average around 20-26 feet.
Experts debunked the measurement of the New Brunswick shark. After examination of the shark’s jaw, shark expert J. E. Randall concluded it was around 17 feet long.
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.