When we think of Great White sharks we often associate the creatures with something terrifying. They’re known for being great apex predators of the sea. However, we don’t often see their own scars – marked by years of battles they, too, experience. In a recent video, one of these majestic animals is captured bearing scars. And now experts are hailing the shark the ‘world’s most battered’ Great White.
Captured near the waters of the Neptune Islands in Australia, the shark boasted hundreds of scars. The 11-foot creature was swimming with many smaller fish and marine life when the video was recorded by cinematographer Dean Spraakman.
Despite its overwhelming size, researchers in the area said the shark was quite friendly. It lurks closely to the camera as it swims by. The animal is no doubt impressive, albeit injured, in the clip.
“No one has ever seen a shark in a condition like this before.
“We see sometimes down there the white sharks tracking stingrays because they hunt and eat them and we thought they chase them into shallow reef areas where it’s quite sharp and it might get stuck and cause that sort of damage,” Spraakman said, via The Sun.
Speculation that the shark may have been involved in a boating accident was dismissed, researchers said.
Scarring Unusual on Great White
“You can only speculate what happened there and to be honest no one knows or ever really know what causes that sort of damage to a shark but the poor guy had a bit of a hard time I think. I noticed he had scars on him but I didn’t realize to what length until I reviewed the footage later,” Spraakman noted.
However, National Geographic explorer Prof Yannis Papastamatiou explains that the Great White may have gotten into a fight with another shark.
“Females are often heavily scarred from mating behavior but males can get bitten as well during dominance interactions between sharks e.g. a larger shark may want a smaller shark and dominate the smaller individual with a non-fatal warning bite. Some of the scarring around the face may also be caused by their prey such as seals,” the scientist said.
Further, Australia is home to about 1,000 Great Whites, so this theory makes sense. The area is known for the large animals, which can reach up to 20 feet in length. Australia is also a destination where several shark attacks have taken place. Surfers remain at risk because they often look like prey to younger animals.
A recent study conducted by Australian scientists tested the theory by using underwater cameras. They wanted to see how sharks view people in the water. The study concluded what was already a popular theory. That is to say, sharks mistakingly attack humans believing them to be marine life.