“Massive Sea Creature Attacks, Kills And Eats A 3 Meter Long Great White Shark” said headlines on June 9. The stories stemmed from this video, a trailer for a documentary by filmmaker David Riggs which was featured on the Smithsonian Channel.
Information from the tracking tag of the three meter shark reportedly showed that “it had suddenly undergone a rapid increase in temperature and a swift 1,900-foot (580-meter) dive beneath the waves. Scientists attribute the more than 30-degree spike in temperature to the shark entering another animal’s digestive system, and the unexpected plunge could be explained by the larger animal’s rapid descent” (sourced from CNN).
Later analysis from the likes of the Australian CSIRO put to bed any rumours of a megalodon (a ancient extinct species of shark that lived millions of year ago.which grew to 15-24 metres in length) lurking somewhere in Australia’s oceans. Naturally, that didn’t really stop the internet having its fun.
While the research suggested that the three metre shark was eaten by another great white which would have been just five metres long, the overwhelming perception was that some enormous super predator was lying in wait for large snacks.
One of the factors for this hype may have been language (after the CSIRO post linked above did indicate that these sharks are technically called ‘white sharks’ not ‘great white sharks’) but that’s probably not the only factor. More likely, we were all much too enthralled with idea of the ancient megalodon which is understandable.
Does the image below give you tingles?