Great White Shark Disappearance: Was It Eaten By Something Big?
Ellisha Rader Mannering
It’s not every day that a 9-foot long great white shark gets devoured by a sea monster, but according to a theory by filmmaker David Riggs, it may have recently happened.
Australia recently started a tracking program that requires them to tag and then track all large great white sharks. One of the largest tagged sharks within the program was a 9-foot long great white shark nicknamed Shark Alpha.
After only four months, Shark Alpha’s tag washed up on the beaches of Australia where it was found by a passerby and returned to the tracking program. Riggs reviewed the tracking data on the tag and was amazed at what it showed.
Shark Alpha had plunged straight down the side of the continental shelf, more than 1,500 feet deep. Instead of the tag’s temperature cooling down as it should have when it entered deep, colder water, it shot up and got hotter. This meant that the shark must have been inside the stomach of another animal. But what animal could devour a 9-foot long shark so quickly and easily?
While many people believe the creature that ate Shark Alpha may have been a sea monster, there are several other theories as to what it could have been that attacked the great white. Some people think a giant squid may be to blame and others claim that an Orca may have attacked the shark.
One of the most popular theories and the one that Riggs believes it the most likely, is that the shark may have been attacked by another shark that was bigger and possibly even a cannibal.
Scientist say that the shark that may have attacked Shark Alpha could be a “colossal cannibal great white shark.” They believe that the shark is huge and so hungry that it will resort to eating its own kind in order to survive.
— Smithsonian Channel (@SmithsonianChan) June 9, 2014
Scientists are not completely sure that they have solved the mystery, and will continue to search for clues in the disappearance of the shark. Riggs has created a documentary that offers details about the various theories and Shark Alpha. It will air on the Smithsonian channel under the title Hunt for the Super Predator.
What do you think could have eaten the giant shark?
Image via Wikimedia Commons