What The Heck Ate A 9-Foot Great White Shark?
June 15, 2014

What The Heck Ate A 9-Foot Great White Shark?

Ever since man first traveled the open waters of the oceans, seas and lakes of the Earth, large sea monsters are believed to have inhabited them. From the Loch Ness Monster to enormous sea serpents that are in the depths of the oceans, there is a common belief they exist, even without irrefutable proof.

One common sea creature is the great white shark. It is a ferocious predator with no natural enemy. Or at least that’s what’s been thought until now.

Recently, a 9-foot great white shark was devoured by what Australian researchers are calling “a mysterious sea monster.” The shark had been previously fitted with a tracking device that was found washed up on the beach. When analyzed, the data revealed the shark experienced a sudden increase in temperature and a rapid 1900-foot decent into the ocean depths.

The device was found 2.5 miles from where the shark was originally tagged and the scientists believe that the 30-degree rise in temperature was the result of the shark being encased in another animal’s digestive system. The rapid dive is believed to be from the larger animal’s decent with the shark in its grasp.

The incident occurred four months after the shark was tagged by Australian researchers and will be aired in a documentary film from the Smithsonian Institution entitled Hunt for the Super Predator on June 25 in the United States.

“When I was first told about the data that came back from the tag that was on the shark, I was absolutely blown away,” filmmaker Dave Riggs says in the documentary. “The question that not only came to my mind but everyone’s mind who was involved was, ‘What did that?’ It was obviously eaten. What’s going to eat a shark that big? What could kill a 3-meter (9-foot) great white?” he added.

What could have eaten such a predator as the great white? An unknown species of fish or an actual sea monster that lives on in the imagination of us?

The answer has possibly been determined. Upon further study in the area of the attack, larger great whites were found, which could give a possible explanation. The scientists say that a larger great white could have eaten the 9-footer and dove rapidly into the depths. According to the scientists, a 2-ton “colossal cannibal great white shark” is the likely candidate for incident.

The researchers report that the attacking creature would have to be roughly 16 feet long and weigh at least two tons. It is speculated that whatever had a feast on the 9-foot shark could have been territorial or just hungry, reported by Gizmodo Australia. Casey Chan writes that the film “settled on a hypothesis that makes the most sense to me. Big sharks eat little sharks.”

Similar to the black box of a plane, the tracking device used on the shark records information like depth and temperature, later to be analyzed. After the scientist studied the data retrieved, it matched all of the previous information from the shark that had been eaten.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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