An unusual sighting occurred when a group of great white sharks was spotted off the U.S. coast, much closer than usual, and certainly enough to pose as a threat to the local population. It has been deemed as uncommon for them to swim not only this close to the shore, but also not commonly seen in those regions.
On October 16th, two coast guards helicopters were flying 500 feet above the waters off of Northern California’s coast. According to Mary Jane Schramm from the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, they spotted a cluster of 20 great white sharks swimming around through the waters.
The oddity was rooted in the fact that their species are not commonly seen within those parts. In fact, these fully mature sharks often swim from the deep depths of the ocean and toward the Farallon Islands, Año Nuevo, and Drakes Bay around this time of the year. They abandon their places from within the colder parts in order to feed.
So far, only younger species of the sharks, of under 10 feet in length, could be spotted near the coast. However, according to the reports, these were fully grown, with lengths between 10 to 18 feet. They could pose as a possible danger to the seal population, but also to humans, such as beach goers or wind surfers. Anyone who has seen ‘Jaws’ can imagine, though at a much smaller scale.
Many of the great white sharks were observed off Pacifica and Ocean Beach, not 100 yards away from the coastline. This poses as a grave concern, and the release of an official warning for anyone in the region who might be considering a day at the beach.
Great white sharks are considered to be social creatures, who travel in groups, such as the one spotted off the Northern Californian shore. They can be easily identified by their grayish color, white bellies, and bullet-sharp shape. The marine creature are exceptional predators, however, that should not be trifled with.
The great whites have triangular, razor-sharp teeth that can easily cut through the flesh of their prey. They can typically grown between 15 to 21 feet in length, and weight around 7,000 pounds. However, this does not hinder their remarkable speed, which can reach 15 miles per hour through the waters.
This species of sharks are typically found along the coast of Australia, South Africa, and parts of the United States. The Census for Marine Life has reported that there are currently 3,500 great white sharks left worldwide, with around 220 of them swimming around the central Californian coast.
And, apparently, 20 of them have been recently spotted off the northern shores of California, which should be a warning to the population. So far, it remained a mystery why the sharks ventured so close to the coastline, instead of making an appearance in their typical regions.
Image source: richarddawkins.net