The Biggest Shark Recorded

An artistic representation of a megalodon, a gigantic prehistoric shark, in the deep ocean. The megalodon should appear massive, with a huge mouth and rows of sharp teeth. The surrounding ocean is deep blue, with faint rays of sunlight filtering through the water. The image should capture the enormity and prehistoric nature of the megalodon, making it seem both awe-inspiring and menacing.

The largest shark ever recorded is the prehistoric Megalodon, which is estimated to have grown between 15 and 18 meters in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark. This giant shark existed around 20 million years ago and dominated the oceans until becoming extinct just 3.6 million years ago. It is not only the biggest shark in the world but one of the largest fish ever to exist. Its jaw span is estimated to be 2.7 by 3.4 meters wide, easily big enough to swallow two adult people side-by-side. These jaws were lined with 276 teeth, and studies reconstructing the shark’s bite force suggest that it may have been one of the most powerful predators ever to have existed.

Here is a bar graph comparing the lengths of different shark species:

  • The Megalodon, the largest prehistoric shark, is estimated to have been around 16.5 feet in length on average.
  • The Whale Shark, the largest currently existing shark, measured up to 18.8 feet.
  • The Great White Shark named Deep Blue, one of the largest recorded, was about 20 feet long.
  • Another large Great White Shark from Ledge Point, Western Australia, measured at 19.5 feet.

In terms of sharks that are still alive today, the largest is the whale shark. The most reliably measured specimen was 18.8 meters or nearly 62 feet long. Whale sharks are not only the biggest shark in the world but are the biggest fish of any kind.

As for the great white shark, the largest ever recorded is a female shark affectionately named Deep Blue. She was spotted and filmed for the 2014 episode of Shark Week’s “Jaws Strikes Back” and measures 20 ft long and is estimated to be about 4,500 pounds. Another large great white shark was a 5.94 m (19.5 ft) specimen reported from Ledge Point, Western Australia in 1987.

Further Knowledge

For more information about these fascinating creatures, you can watch the following videos and read the extra reading materials: