20 Facts We Never Knew About Great White Sharks

By Callum Atherton 8 months ago

1. Largest Predatory Fish

Absolutely terrifying shot of a Great White deep in the black depths. : r/pics
Image Source: Reddit
With a whopping length of 4.5m long and the largest one on record measuring in at a monstrous 7m, Great White Sharks are the fourth biggest shark in the world and the largest predatory fish on the planet. The waters are a more dangerous place with these in it.

2. Sharks Are Everywhere

This majestic, and big Great White Shark is named Deep Blue, she is believed to be the biggest of her kind today. Estimated to be around 50 years old, she is around
Image Source: Reddit
Some people have preconceived ideas about where Great White Sharks live. These beats can found in all major oceans with Antarctica being the only place they do not hunt and live. This is supported by the number of sightings and social media videos being posted recently.

3. Older Than Dinosaurs

Deep Blue, biggest great white shark on record. Believed to be around 50 years old. : r/natureismetal
Image Source: Reddit
Some people believe no species was around when the dinosaurs roamed the earth but during the Jurassic age, pterodactyls and diplodocus' were joined by sharks. Historians believe they were not as high on the food chain as they are today but it does show how durable and tough they are.

4. Warm Blooded Killers

A friendly Great White Shark : r/pics
Image Source: Reddit
Great white sharks may be described as 'cold, blooded killers' with their instinct to punish its prey. However, unlike many other sharks, great white sharks are warm blooded. This allows them to control their body temperature to survive in different habitats.

5. Terrible Teeth

The scars on this veteran Great White Shark. : r/interestingasfuck
Image Source: Reddit
If the classic film Jaws is your expectation of how dangerous sharks are, then you may need to brush up on facts about the sharks primary weapon. Sharks teeth are in 5 rows and grow between a length of 3. and 6.2cm long. Shark regularly lose their teeth and may grow 200,000 in their lifetime.

6. Bit and Sunk

This Great White Shark looks like he's smiling haha. : r/natureismetal
Image Source: Reddit
Sharks have an intense and powerful jaw which you would not get between. This is shown as boats have been known to sink 10m long boats and knocking people overboard with their power. This is problematic if you are in the middle of the ocean and this happens to you!

7. Rapid Swimmers

A Great White Shark roaming freely in the open ocean. It's a beautiful, majestic animal isn't it? : r/TheDepthsBelow
Image Source: Reddit
So you get knocked out of your boat, the initial reaction would be to swim away. You may want to save your energy as great white sharks have adapted their bodies so they are streamlined to reach speeds of 56 kph (35 mph)! Scary stuff for the sharks prey.

8. Hiding In Plain Sight

šŸ”„ Ocean Ramsey sizing herself up against the largest great white shark on recordšŸ”„ (photo: @JuanSharks) : r/NatureIsFuckingLit
Image Source: Reddit
You may naively think, "How can sharks be camouflaged when they are not blue like the ocean?" Well, their grey back blend in with the rocky floor meaning they are hard to see from above and their white bellies blend in with the light from the sun so they are hard to see from below.

9. Sense Of Smell

Great White Shark
Image Source: National Geographic Kids
If you have seen the famous seen of Shark Tale, you know that sharks have an incredible sense of smell. This is particularly true with blood being drawn from prey from far distances away. A Great White shark can detect a single drop of blood in a staggering 100 litres of water!

10. Sense of Electrical Fields

How the great white shark drove the mighty megalodon to extinction
Image Source: The Telegraph
Some aquatic animals will give of small electrical currents from their bodies and great white sharks are great at detecting these. They can sense one millionth of a volt in water! This is another tool the shark uses to hunt its prey for an easy kill.

11. Glow In The Dark Eyes

White Shark - Oceana
Image Source: Oceana
If you did not think that great white sharks had everything to be the most formidable predator in the ocean, they can also see in the dark. Reflective cells behind the retina gives them the incredible ability to see prey in the dark. There is no chance for their prey!

12. Toxic Blood

Megalodon might have competed with great white sharks | Popular Science
Image Source: PopularĀ 
If I told you that an animal had something so toxic in its body it would kill most other animals but doesn't actually affect the animal it's in, would you believe me? Great white sharks are unaffected by the high levels of arsenic and mercury in their blood which would kill most animals.

13. Free Willy

Beautiful Great white : r/sharks
Image Source: Reddit
We have all seen the stuff of legendary cinema when Willy jumps over the rocks in 1993 film Free Willy. Well great sharks can also jump up to 10 foot in the air by swimming quickly up towards the surface. They call this incredible behaviour 'breaching'.

14. Long Live The Sharks

Great white sharks, facts and information
Image Source: National Geographic
In previous research, sharks have been shown to have a relatively short lifespan of about 23 years. In more recent studies, it has shown that these apex predators of the sea can live to over 70 years old. The waters are going to be dangerous for longer than we expected.

15. Born To Hunt

The Great White Shark is on the move - Tortoise
Image Source: Tortoise Media
When most animals are born, they may need a few weeks, months or years to ensure that they are able to fend for themselves in the outside world. Sharks are slightly different as they hatch from the egg still in the womb and when they are born, they are already about 5 feet long and ready to survive on their own.

16. Harsh Start In Life

Great White Sharks news & latest pictures from Newsweek.com
Image Source: Newsweek
Sharks are predators before they are even born! Shark embryos will eat their smaller or weaker siblings and even their mothers unfertilised eggs to ensure they are strong enough to survive in the wild when they are born. This mentality shows why they are one of the kings of the sea.

17. Cannibals

White shark | Size, Diet, Habitat, Teeth, Attacks, & Facts | Britannica
Image Source: BritannicaĀ 
As savages killers, you may not expect their too be much love between sharks. There is no 'shark code of respect' and if two sharks want to fight for to the death. This normally happens when one is slightly smaller and the larger one is looking for its next meal.

18. The Great White Shark's Predator

Australia's east coast home to 5,500 great white sharks | Sharks | The Guardian
Image Source: The GuardianĀ 
As dangerous and scary as Great White sharks are, there is still one predator that will hunt them down. Orcas or killer whales will hunt and kill sharks for their next feed. They are so precise, they will target the liver as sharks rely on this for their buoyancy.

19. Testy Tongue

Great white sharks discovered growing to 'insane' 20ft sizes in protected oceans - World News - Mirror Online
Image Source: The Mirror
Sharks take the saying 'taste for the kill' extremely literally. A sharks tongue is made from a special type of cartilage called basihyal. This also makes sharks fussy as they can taste test their food to see if they like it or not before tucking in.

20. Hands For Teeth

Shark Week 2022: Thrilling great white encounter caught on video - Deseret News
Image Source: Deseret News
We have already found out that shark have a lot of teeth but they also use these teeth like hands. The teeth can move within their flexible jaws giving them the ability to understand what they are biting by assessing its shape. Very useful if you ask me!

21. Curious Sharks

The important reasons you'll never see a great white shark in an aquarium | Daily Mail Online
Image Source: Daily Mail
Even though sharks are extremely formidable, they are very curious creature. Sharks try to understand their surroundings and things in the water. A researcher recorded how they seen great white sharks swimming up to brightly coloured objects in the water such as buoys and paddle boards.

22. Rare Human Attacks

Jaw-dropping moment world's toughest great white shark Brutus goes in for the kill in incredible underwater footage | The Sun
Image Source: The Sun
You would be wrong for assuming that humans are often attacked by sharks in our oceans. Between 2014 and 2018 there was an average of 82 attacks with only 4 fatalities. Even though attacks are rare, great whites are the species that are responsible for the largest number of attacks.

23. Human For Seal Myth

White shark | Animals | Monterey Bay Aquarium
Image Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium
The saying that sharks mistake seals for humans is a complete myth! When sharks attack seals, they swim forward like a tornado to devour its prey, however when attacking humans they slowly swim forward before normally taking a single bite, most probably out of curiosity.

24. Danger Of Extinction

White Shark Ocean
Image Source: White Shark Ocean
The massively decreasing numbers over the past few years has lead to great white sharks being labelled as a vulnerable species. This is due to the increase of human activity like overfishing which is causing the accidental deaths of lots of sharks and other marine life.

25. Civilised Eaters

Video: Family catches great white shark while on fishing trip in Florida | CNN
Image Source: CNN
Great white sharks are extremely courteous and polite to other sharks when it comes to food. They will only need one food if necessary to allow other sharks to feed as well. This allows for the population to be as healthy and energized as possible with them all eating.

26. Need Their Home Comforts

Massive great white shark caught and released at Florida beach: 'This was something bigger' | Fox News
Image Source: Fox News
Great White sharks love coastal areas in all oceans or typically the outskirts of shore waters. Sometimes, they can wander into deep ocean and have been found in depths of 1000m. Due to them liking warmer waters, they spend most of their time in shallow waters near the surface.

27. Socialising

Massive great white shark just disappeared after visit to New Jersey
Image Source: Shore News Network
The social network of sharks including its structure and behaviours is still a giant mystery. Normally sharks are free thinkers who would rather work alone. However studies show that Great White Sharks show a distinct hierarchy were females tend to dominate males.

28. Large Bit

Great White Sharks Washing Up In Canada Is A Positive Sign For Their Population, Says Experts
Image Source: Forbes
When a shark bites down on its prey, there is no way that the poor animals is escaping from the sharks jaws. This is due from the tremendous pressure and force that a Great White sharks bit has. On average the pressure of the bite is about 4000 psi which is 10 times that of a lion.

29. One Meal Is Plenty

Great white sharks 'could be living in UK waters' in warning - Daily Star
Image Source: The Daily Star
Sharks are very orientated around food as we have learnt, but it is not something they are obsessed with. This can be shown as even though sharks can eat an average of 11 tons of food a year, they can go three months before having their next feed. Crazy!

30. Eye Protection

New ancient shark species gives insight into origin of great white ā€“ Research News
Image Source: Florida Museum- University of Florida
Just because they are attacked by the great white sharks, does not mean that their prey are going to give up without a fight. Their prey fighting back could potentially cause some damage to the shark. However, their eyes are protected as they have the ability to roll back meaning they cannot get scratched and damaged.