Spontaneous Shark Week: 18-Foot Great White Breaks Record

  • Share
  • Read Later

Last Friday, the crew of National Geographic Channel’s hit series Shark Men announced they had broken the previous record for the biggest great white shark ever caught and released alive. They displayed their capture Sunday night on the show.

Apache is a giant male who measures 17 feet 9 inches and was estimated to weigh 4,225 pounds. The crew caught him off the coast of Guadalupe Island in Mexico while they were on a mission that caught, tagged and released sharks in order to study the animals.

PHOTOS: A closer look at sharks

Expedition leader Chris Fischer told National Geographic that Apache put up a fight when they tried to capture him. “He was all scarred up and had big marks all over him—you could tell he was just a bad-ass shark,” Fischer said.

Though there’s no official organization that recognizes the record, the researchers still deemed their discovery significant, especially because in species like this females tend to be larger than males. Kimel, the previous record-holder, was a 16 foot 8 inch female.

But other shark experts say that Apache’s size doesn’t matter. “That is one big shark, [but] I have no doubt that this isn’t the largest white shark in the wild,” John O’Sullivan, head of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s White Shark Program, told National Geographic.

(More on TIME.com: A brief history of Shark Week)

0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest