What Does It Feel Like to Encounter a Great White Shark?

Imagine swimming in the ocean and suddenly seeing a large, shadowy figure gliding through the water. It’s a great white shark! What would you feel? Scared? Excited? Curious? In this article, we’ll talk about all these emotions and more. We’ll also learn interesting facts about great white sharks and how to stay safe if you ever encounter one.

Key Takeaways

  • Encountering a great white shark can be both thrilling and scary.
  • Great white sharks are large, powerful predators but are not always dangerous to humans.
  • Staying calm and knowing what to do can help you stay safe during an encounter.
  • Learning about great white sharks can help you appreciate these amazing creatures more.

What is a Great White Shark?

Great white sharks are one of the most well-known types of sharks. They are famous for their size, power, and the way they move through the water. Here are some key facts about great white sharks:

  • Scientific Name: Carcharodon carcharias
  • Size: They can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 5,000 pounds.
  • Habitat: They are found in oceans all over the world, especially in cool, coastal waters.
  • Diet: They eat fish, seals, sea lions, and even small whales.

First Sighting: The Initial Encounter

When you first see a great white shark, your heart might start to race. The shark’s large body and powerful movements can be both awe-inspiring and intimidating. It’s important to stay calm and remember that sharks are not usually interested in humans.

“A great white shark is like a submarine with teeth. Seeing one for the first time is a mix of fear and fascination.”

What You Might Feel

  1. Excitement: Seeing such a large and powerful animal up close can be thrilling.
  2. Fear: It’s natural to feel scared when you see a predator.
  3. Curiosity: You might be curious to learn more about the shark and its behavior.

Understanding Shark Behavior

Great white sharks are curious creatures. They often investigate their surroundings by swimming close and sometimes bumping into objects. This behavior is called “mouthing” and helps them learn about their environment.

“Sharks use their mouths to explore just like we use our hands. They are often just curious.”

How Sharks Hunt

Great white sharks are excellent hunters. They use their sense of smell to detect prey from far away. They also have excellent vision and can sense the electrical fields of other animals. When hunting, they often swim below their prey and then burst upward in a surprise attack.

Safety Tips: What to Do if You Encounter a Shark

If you ever find yourself near a great white shark, it’s important to stay calm and follow these safety tips:

  1. Stay Calm: Panicking can make the situation worse. Try to stay still and keep breathing slowly.
  2. Maintain Eye Contact: Sharks are less likely to attack if you keep looking at them.
  3. Move Slowly: If you need to move, do so slowly and smoothly. Sudden movements can attract the shark’s attention.
  4. Stay Vertical: Keep your body vertical in the water. Sharks are used to seeing prey that swims horizontally.
  5. Leave the Water Slowly: If the shark loses interest and swims away, slowly make your way back to shore or your boat.

“Staying calm and moving slowly can make a big difference when you’re near a shark. They usually lose interest if you don’t act like prey.”

Fascinating Facts About Great White Sharks

  • Longevity: Great white sharks can live up to 70 years.
  • Breeding: They give birth to live young, called pups. A mother shark can have up to 10 pups at a time.
  • Speed: They can swim up to 25 miles per hour in short bursts.

Table: Great White Shark Facts

SizeUp to 20 feet long
WeightUp to 5,000 pounds
LifespanUp to 70 years
SpeedUp to 25 miles per hour
DietFish, seals, sea lions, small whales
BreedingLive birth, up to 10 pups per litter

“Great white sharks are one of the ocean’s top predators, but they are also vulnerable and need protection.”

The Importance of Sharks in the Ocean

Sharks play a crucial role in the ocean ecosystem. They help keep fish populations in balance and ensure healthy oceans. Without sharks, the marine ecosystem could become unbalanced, leading to problems for other sea creatures.

Conservation Efforts

Many people are working to protect great white sharks and their habitats. Conservation efforts include:

  • Marine Protected Areas: These are special areas where fishing and other activities are limited to protect marine life.
  • Research and Education: Scientists study sharks to learn more about them and educate the public about their importance.
  • Shark Tourism: Some places offer eco-friendly shark diving tours that help raise awareness and funds for shark conservation.

“Protecting sharks helps protect the entire ocean ecosystem. Every creature in the ocean is connected.”


Encountering a great white shark is a unique and unforgettable experience. While it can be scary, understanding these amazing creatures can help reduce fear and increase appreciation. Remember, sharks are not out to get us. They are an important part of the ocean and need our protection.

By staying calm and knowing what to do, you can safely enjoy the incredible sight of a great white shark in its natural habitat. So next time you think about sharks, remember how fascinating and important they are to our world.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x