Is This The Largest Great White Ever Seen?
by Owen James Burke
“I give you the biggest white shark ever seen in front of the cages in Guadalupe Island… DEEP BLUE!!!” – Shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla. Screenshot from Mauricio Hoyos Padilla’s video.
In the fall of 2013 off Guadalupe Island, Mexico, local researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla was filming a tagging effort for The Discovery Channel when this “20-plus” foot female great white shark arrived on the scene. While 20-foot white sharks are not entirely unheard of, what is most admirable about this creature is her girth. She looks almost as big around as the bathyscaphe Trieste, as if she’d be able to accommodate both Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh, comfortably.
Estimated to be about 50 years old, she’s probably seen just about all the ocean has to offer, and when a cage-diver reaches out to brush her pectoral fin, she’s unperturbed, curious less about the human beside her than the suspended objects surrounding the cage.