A great white shark, whose movements up and down the East Coast are being tracked by a scientific research group, has become a celebrity on Twitter, Yahoo News is reporting.
OCEARCH (pronounced “OH-search”) is a research institute studying great white sharks and other apex predators, according to the organization’s website. Among other experiments, the organization’s researchers have attached GPS-enabled tracking devices to several hundred great white sharks, allowing scientists – and the general public – to track the animals’ movements.
One such great white shark has been lovingly named Mary Lee by expedition leader Chris Fischer, who named the beast after his mother, according to Canada Journal.
And Mary Lee is a Twitter celebrity.
Someone – it’s not known who, but they are not affiliated with OCEARCH, Fischer insists – has created a Twitter account in Mary Lee’s honor. @MaryLeeShark has over 48,000 followers, as of this post.
Mary Lee seems to revel in tweeting her location to her fans often doing so with a sense of humor.
— Mary Lee the shark (@MaryLeeShark) May 17, 2015
I have no idea how this happens. I’m just a shark. I shouldn’t even be able to tweet. Mysteries of the deep. -;() https://t.co/UW7175kRSi
— Mary Lee the shark (@MaryLeeShark) May 16, 2015
At least one fan has politely asked the great white shark to give him and his friends some space during his planned beach visit.
Dear @MaryLeeShark if u don’t mind, try to leave the bay before the Escape the Cape Triathlon in June. I’ve got enough to worry about.
— Dave Weinberg (@PressACWeinberg) May 15, 2015
Other fans have asked questions of the great white shark, getting witty quips in response. One fan asked, “What do you do during Shark Week?”
“Swim. Eat. Tweet. Etc. Exhausting. -;(),”
While insisting that the @MaryLeeShark Twitter account is not managed by anyone associated with his research expedition, Chris Fischer says he’s glad for the attention.
“They’re really clever, they really like sharks and they’re on mission, so we’re just kind of rolling with it.”
An Associated Press reporter was able to speak to the real human behind the @MaryLeeShark account. And while not revealing much about his/her identity – they would only confirm that they are a reporter living on the East Coast – they also acknowledged the fun they’re having with the fake account.
“The best part is that (@MaryLeeShark) plays a role in helping to replace fear with facts by retweeting and commenting on @OCEARCH tweets. I (try) to be respectful of the important work OCEARCH does and have fun at the same time.”
As of this post, the East Coast great white shark’s most recent location tweet has her a few miles east of Assateague Island, off the coast of Maryland.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Stefan Pircher]