Sharks are already scary animals. And now, they’re getting even bigger than they already are.
Two species of sharks, tiger sharks and great white sharks, are taking advantage of newly abundant food sources in protected no-fishing zones and growing to huge sizes, as reported by The Guardian.
'Mega tiger sharks'
Tiger sharks typically grow up to 13ft long. However, a 16ft tiger shark called Kamakai was recently sightedoff the coast of French Polynesia. This areaboasts one of the world's biggest shark sanctuaries,which was created around a decade ago.
The Nat Geo WILD documentary, Great White V Tiger Shark, reveals:
The waters around French Polynesia have transformed into a big tiger paradise - a safe haven, where a shark like Kamakai can birth a new generation of mega tiger sharks.
Kori Burkhardt, marine biologist and professional shark diver, told National Geographic:
I’ve been diving with tiger sharks in multiple countries and she’s by far the biggest I’ve ever seen. It’s not just her length but her width as well. She can be five metres long but she’s three metres wide, including her fins. That’s insane.
'Two of the largest white sharks'
Tiger sharks aren't the only 'mega-sharks' out there. Also encountered during the filming of the documentary were 'two of the largest white sharks ever recorded in Hawaii,' as reported by The Australian. Great white sharks are classed as a vulnerable species, endangered due to overfishing.
Female great whites typically grow to about 15ft or 16ft long, while males grow up to 11ft or 13ft long. However, scientists have encountered two of the largest great white sharks ever recorded in Hawaii, which in January became the first state in the US to ban shark fishing.
Researchers also believe their larger size is due to hunting in packs rather than alone. Three 20ft female great whites were spotted eating a whale carcass, which marine biologist Dr Chris Lowe described as 'unusual'. He said:
Finding one white shark and a whale, sure. Getting three large female white sharks on a whale, that’s different.
That means those sharks must have been close enough in the vicinity to detect the odour of that whale, and then also it might mean that these sharks are travelling together.
It’s something we’ve never really been able to study or understand.
It comes as five people have been attacked by sharks in only two weeksoffLong Island in New York. Two people were even attacked on the same day and at the same place, several hours apart. Fortunately, there weren't any 'significant injuries.'