Sharks are one of the terrifying creatures in the ocean. They have prowled around the world’s ocean for hundreds of millions of years now, and up to this day, they are still fascinating and captivating to watch. There are over 500 species of sharks worldwide, and the majority of them are roaming the Australian waters.
And because sharks have lived for hundreds of millions of years, adaptation and evolution have paved the way for these sharks. This is to grow humongous. Some of them are extinct already. Some of them are still lurking in the depths of the world. If you want to discover the world’s biggest sharks, have yourself a treat!
4 Biggest Sharks Roaming Around Earth’s Waters
There are around a thousand species of sharks living on this planet’s waters, but here are some of the world’s biggest sharks. In no particular order, here are the five biggest sharks roaming around the world.
Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)
Whale sharks are one of the biggest living sharks in the world at the moment. Also, they are considered to be one of the biggest filter-feeding sharks currently roaming around the earth’s waters. A full-grown whale shark measures around 18 to 33 feet and weighs around 20 to 24 tons.
However, the largest ever whale shark recorded is estimated to be around a whopping 66 feet! Yup, you read that right, 66 feet, and it also weighs around 46 tons. A pretty big whale shark, to say the least, right? Unfortunately, due to commercial fishing, climate change, boat strikes, and various factors, they are considered by IUCN as endangered species.
Primarily, whale sharks feed on planktons and often travel around the world to look for food. Their distinct white-spotted colorations make them easy to spot and are popular within the diving community. Although whale sharks are protected in various countries all over the world, they are on the decline in some areas.
Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)
Great white sharks may be known as the ocean's apex predators, but they seem so small in size compared to filter-feeding sharks such as the basking shark and whale sharks. For example, although basking shark’s primary diet consists of plankton, they can grow as much as 40 feet and weigh roughly 5 tons. These mega sharks are commonly found in Pacific and Atlantic waters.
Filter-feeding sharks such as the basking and whale sharks may be known to be gentle giants of the ocean, but they can still be fast swimmers that can go as fast as 18km/h. Basking sharks are also known to breach the water's surface, reaching heights of up to 4 feet in the process.
Just like with their whale shark counterparts, they pose no threats to humans. However, they have extremely rough skin, so proper caution is highly advised whenever you get close to these gentle giants. Basking sharks are protected in all waters of the world. However, they are exempted in China and Japan and are mainly hunted for their various parts as part of a delicacy.
Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
We have now come to the most feared predator of the ocean, the great white shark. The great white sharks of the ocean are considered the largest predatory fish here on earth. On average, they grow around 12 to 16 feet. However, some specimens can reach up to 20 feet and weigh around a whopping 5,000 pounds!
Great white sharks are mainly found in cool coastal waters around the globe. One of the reasons they are highly adept predators is their impressive sense of smell that can detect prey from far away. In addition, they have these tiny little organs that can detect electromagnetic fields by animals. Their diet consists of mollusks, other types of sharks, sea birds, and many more.
The great white shark got their names from their white underbellies; their gray upper body helps them blend in around the rocky coastal waters. Although they are the most feared fish in the ocean, they are still susceptible to various limiting factors such as overfishing, commercial fishing, boat strikes, climate change, and many more. As a result, the great white sharks are considered a vulnerable species and inches closer to being endangered.
Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus)
Thresher sharks, pelagic sharks, common threshers, and whip-tailed sharks are the most easily recognizable sharks globally. Their caudal fins that stretch half of their body can be noticed easily. In addition, this fascinating shark has very distinct pelvic and dorsal fins. Unlike its great white counterpart, which uses its impressive bite force to chow down prey, the thresher shark uses its whip-like tail to hunt.
One of thresher shark’s primary diets consists of herrings, mackerels, squids, shrimp, bluefish, and many more. While the common thresher and bigeye threshers can be found worldwide, pelagic threshers are mainly found in Pacific and Indian waters. Thus, they mainly live offshore for their lives and are rarely seen or being interacted with by humans.
Researchers have discovered that thresher sharks have two pups per litter, and during their lifetimes, a female thresher shark can give birth to around 40 offspring. Although they rarely interact with humans, thresher sharks are being threatened by commercial fishing for their meat.
In addition, their livers are used for cosmetic products and vitamins, whereas their skin is used for leather production. Because thresher sharks have a very low production rate, their population is slowly declining over the years.
Wrapping things up
Sharks are fascinating creatures around the world, and yet they are also the most misunderstood ones. The stigma around the biggest sharks creates a negative atmosphere around them. However, educating people has paved the way for these sharks to be appreciated and protected.
We, as humans, should protect these gentle creatures for years to come so that our grandchildren’s children can witness how these marine creatures are truly majestic in their way. Lastly, there’s still a long way to go about protecting these sharks, but humanity has stepped in the right direction for this to come to fruition.
Just how here at ATOLEA, we care so much about the welfare of everything about the Ocean. Our mission is to help in protecting and conserving the habitat of every sea creature including every species of the sharks.
Every purchase you make from our Ocean-inspired jewelry collections, part of it goes to Ocean conservation charities. So check out our Sharks-inspired designs now that you will surely love to match on your every outfit!