A massive 17-foot great white shark has crossed literal oceans and turned up on the other side of the Atlantic.
After this monster mama was lingering in the waters off of North Carolina’s Outer Banks area, she vanished from sight. The 50-year-old shark named Nukumi was picked up by satellite tracking crossing the Atlantic Ocean near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge last week.
Great White Shark Makes Great Journey
Nearly 2,000 miles away, the great white shark headed northeast. According to an article from the Charlotte Observer, experts say that this route was very unusual for migratory species. OCEARCH Chief Scientist Bob Hueter spoke in a news release about the trek.
“For Nukumi to reach the ridge and then move past it, she had to travel about 2,000 nautical miles from the North Carolina coast, which she left around February 22,” he said.
That means that this shark swam an average of 44 miles a day. While this is common for some species, it is not for great white sharks, reveals Hueter.
“Only the most highly migratory fishes, like bluefin tunas, blue sharks, and shortfin makos, cross between the western and eastern Atlantic,” he continued.
Nukumi is no small shark by any means, clocking in at 3,541-pounds. Now imagine swimming thousands of miles at that weight. It’s a no from us.
In fact, Nukumi is the largest great white tagged by OCEARCH in the Northwest Atlantic. She was first found by the team in October, off the Nova Scotia shores. Since then, the massive shark has traveled over 5,570 miles.
OCEARCH continues, saying that female great white sharks inhabit the waters off the Outer Banks, which are believed to be a mating ground hotspot.
After the female is pregnant, she flees to deeper waters to avoid any aggressive males. “White shark mating is brutal, with males biting the female to hold her in place,” Hueter said.
After tracking dozens of other great white sharks on the East Coast, the data shows that the predators prefer to swim along the coastline.
Another Great White Made the Journey
Nukumi isn’t alone, however. One other shark has made the same journey.
OCEARCH reports that a 14.6 foot, 2,000-pound female named Lydia traveled across the Atlantic in 2014. Her travels brought her all the way to the Azores, which is about 850 miles off the coast of Portugal.
Unfortunately, Lydia’s tracker ran out of batteries, and her last known location was sent to researchers in 2018.