Last week, it was revealed that the remains of a 9-foot great white shark washed ashore in southern Australia some time ago, and since then, the world has been abuzz by what could have swallowed what many consider to be the apex predator of the oceans.
The shark had previously been tagged by scientists, and researchers noted that the tag recorded a massive swing in not only temperature–by some 30 degrees higher–but also in the depth in which the great fish traveled, almost 2,000 feet deep in a few seconds after being consumed. Scientists cannot explain what could have seemingly swallowed the 9-footer whole, and then dove that deep, that fast.
The tag reappeared after four months and the data recovered has been used in a new Smithsonian-produced documentary premiering at the end of June as part of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Yet still, even after all this time, no one knows what could have killed this great white shark.
Killer Whales are known predators to great white sharks, but the orcas are known to attack the fish head on and would never swallow one whole. One popular theory is that another, much bigger great white shark was the culprit, but the same scientists that tagged and followed the victim fish do not believe there is a shark large enough to completely gulp down 9-feet of predator.
The internet exploded with buzz when the news first hit, and the mystery deepens as ichthyologists worldwide ponder what could have happened. One popular theory is that a super predator may exist out there that could have pulled off the super-sized meal. Scientists are predicting that the alpha shark would have to be over 30-feet long, which would make it one of the biggest great whites sharks in existence. Great white sharks have been known to cannibalize each other, which could explain the strange occurrence.
Could the prehistoric Megalodon, which grew to be upwards of 60-feet plus, be swimming in the ocean around Australia picking off younger, smaller great white sharks? Scientists have debunked the existence of a modern day Megalodon, but that doesn’t deter from the fact that something very large swallowed whole a great white shark that was longer from tip to tail than an average sports car.
Whatever this mysterious super predator is, it’s swimming in our oceans right now, and the scientists that study great white sharks are at a loss for what it could be, and what it could swallow whole next.