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Lord of the deep

An unknown, gigantic version of a great white shark

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Lord of the deep

Fish, Shark

Taxonomy
Geography

Australian cryptid, French Polynesian cryptid, Polynesian cryptid, Pacific cryptid

Habitat

Deep-sea, Marine

Descriptors

Carnivore, Out-of-scale, Lazarus taxon, Aquatic, Featured in Native folklore

The Lord Of The Deep is a massive unknown shark species reported in most of the South Pacific Ocean, including Australia. It is usually described as white, presumably because they live in the deep sea, which would explain their infrequent sightings. Some sightings estimate a length of 80 feet, nearly 4 times the normal size of a great white shark. Although the lord of the deep is probably smaller, due to difficulty in estimating size in the ocean, due to a lack of things to compare it to. The lord of the deep is said to resemble a great white shark, but with white or pale greenish-yellow skin, large pectoral fins and obviously, much larger in size.

In Novelist and fishermen Zane Grey’s 1931 book Tales of Tahitian Waters, he claimed to have seen an enormous shark larger than his 35 ft long boat off Rangiroa Atoll in 1928. Grey described it as having a square head, long pectoral fins and greenish-yellow skin with white spots. Several years later Zane Grey and his son saw the same giant shark species in the open ocean between the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia and the Line Islands in what is now Kiribati.

In 1954, a ship’s hull was bitten by an enormous shark off Adelaide, South Australia. The bite mark was 6.5 ft wide, which would make the shark an astounding 78 ft in length. In 1981, fishermen in deep water near the Broughton Islands, New South Wales, Australia, watched as a gigantic, “ghostly white” shark made off with their crayfish pots. Their estimates of the animal’s size ranged from an unbelievable 80 to 100 ft in length.

In his 1978 book Let's Go Fossil Shark Tooth Hunting, author B.C. Cartmell describes an alleged sighting that occurred off the edge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef in the 1960s. According to Cartmell, the sailors described that when their 85-foot ship was forced to weigh anchor for engine repairs, the captain and crew were surprised to see a massive white shark slowly swim past their ship. It was apparently around the same size as their ship. All aboard agreed it was not a whale.

In 2003, Marine Biologist Dave Riggs tagged a nine-foot-long shark off the coast of Australia with a tracking device. The device was discovered when it washed ashore 2.5 miles from where the creature, who was named Shark Alpha was initially tagged. Data from the device showed the healthy female shark suddenly plunged at high speed to a depth of 1,900-foot, (580 metres) beneath the surface. The tag recorded a dramatic temperature shift from 7°C to 25°C, suggesting the tag was inside the stomach of another animal as it ate the shark. Dave Riggs said “The internal temperature of the animal that ate the shark is a weird one. It appears to be too low for a killer whale and too high for another shark, unless it was massive.”