The famous Deep Blue and two other huge females to be spotted off Hawaii, an unexplained gathering and also location because that the elusive predators.
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The famous and elusive “Deep Blue” was recently recorded feasting on a sperm whale carcass with two other female good whites.
Kimberly Jeffries spotted the dead sperm whale native nearly half a mile away—a white fixed the size of a bus bobbing in the calm early-morning waters.
It was January 2019, and Jeffries, a Hawaii-based nature and also wildlife photographer, had actually arrived in ~ this spot a couple of mile southwest that Waikiki hoping to catch a glimpse that predators drawn to the floating cetacean feast. Mere moments after she jumped in, something 10s of feet below caught she eye: a massive good white shark wending her means up native the deep.
Stretching part 20 feet from reminder to tail, it was the renowned Deep Blue, among the largest good white sharks ever captured on film. (Most female an excellent whites average about 15 to 16 feet.) Over 3 days, Jeffries and her colleagues recorded the especially spectacle—while maintaining a respectful distance—as two an ext mature mrs white sharks concerned chow down on the sperm whale carcass.
“It was one of those rare weeks whereby there’s no wind; yes sir no swells,” Jeffries says. And also that meant astonishing underwater views, including photos and video, the Deep Blue and the other good whites feeding, supplying a rarely glimpse into the resides of these peak predators.
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The sighting is additionally unusual because that both the number and also sex of animals spotted. Woman white sharks seem come be greatly solitary creatures. And also while an excellent white sharks have likely went to Hawaii for centuries, scientists think there probably isn’t a resident population.
“Are there more females hanging roughly the Hawaiian Islands than we recognize about?” wonders Christopher Lowe, manager of the shark lab in ~ California State college in long Beach. “Maybe we simply don’t know they’re there and also this just listed a rare chance to view them.”
While an excellent whites are the most well known shark species, yes a lot we don’t know—in component because lock tricky to study, thanks to your elusive nature and also wide-ranging migrations, extending thousands the miles every year.
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By cataloging such encounters, researchers hope to acquire a far better understanding of whereby the creatures invest their time, which helps create much more effective preservation measures. The an excellent white, detailed as vulnerable on the international Union because that Conservation that Nature’s Red List, has numerous threats including sport fishing and accidental killing as bycatch. (Learn an ext about white shark deaths in the Pacific.)
Into the deep blue sea
Deep Blue—identified through the crenulations in between her grey ago side and also white belly—was last spotted in 2013, turn off the western shore of Mexico"s Baja California, near Guadalupe Island. This region is a gathering ar for sharks, one of several zones thought to be mating grounds for Pacific good whites, explains Nicole Nasby Lucas, a biologist in ~ the maritime Conservation scientific research Institute who studies Guadalupe’s white sharks and was first given a photo of Deep Blue in 1999.
Male an excellent white sharks spend about six months annually near the coast, beginning around so late July or at an early stage August. Throughout this time, lock feast on sea lions and seals and likely mate v female whites—though scientists have actually never caught great whites in the act. (Watch scientists shot to placed a video camera top top a an excellent white.)