Is the ‘world’s biggest’ great white shark Deep Blue as big as Jaws?

Divers swam with the largest great white ever recorded - but how does it stack up against the movie star?

Jaws

The world has been marvelling this week at the size – and awesome beauty – of a great white shark named Deep Blue.

Advertisement

Around 50 years old, and last seen in 2013 in Mexico, the shark resurfaced off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Oahu where a team of divers were able to swim with her and capture some of these stunning photographs.

View this post on Instagram

PHOTO BY @juansharks ????? Maybe my fav photo of me (@oceanramsey) and Shark ohana ? of all time so far ??? It’s so hard to choose, so many beautiful moments I am so eternally grateful for sharks please help save them. I am without words and at the same time I think I never stop speaking up for sharks, I am grateful beyond measure for my experiences and what they have taught me. This photo was taken yesterday off my home waters of Oahu, Hawaii when hey Shark I think I’ve met previously in Isla Guadalupe graced us with her big beautiful incredible presence ? I headed out with my team from @oneoceandiving (my ❤️ @juansharks ) and @mermaid_kayleigh @forrest.in.focus @camgrantphotography for a day I will never forget. I’ve been trying to get the bill re-introduced in Hawaii to ban the purposeful killing of sharks and rays and this just feels like the biggest sign to keep pushing forward for more protection for them. Shark populations around the planet are severely declined. They need protection from targeted shark fishing for shark been soup and sport fishing. Please speak up in your own community and help support international efforts. #helpsavesharks #savesharks #shark #greatwhiteshark #sharks #oceanramseyandgreatwhite #oceanramseygreatwhite PHOTO BY #JUANSHARKS #Sharkphotographer #Sharkarma #savetheocean #instagood Join me at my team to learn about sharks OneOceanDiving.Com @oneoceanresearch @oneoceanconservation @oneoceaneducation @oneoceanglobal @oneoceanhawaii @waterinspired New conservation benefit tiger shark biomimicry wetsuit by @xcelwetsuits #instagram #discoversharks #instagood #ocean #incredible #amazing #beautiful Photo by @juansharks ??❤️?❤️

A post shared by Ocean Ramsey #OceanRamsey (@oceanramsey) on

Thought to be the biggest great white on record, Deep Blue dwarfs marine biologist Ocean Ramsey (pictured alongside her), not just in length but also in her incredible girth, which experts think means the shark is pregnant.

View this post on Instagram

#Jaws was a fictitious film whose poster kind of looks like this, so this is my effort at an Anti-Jaws type media piece @savingjawsmovie . I’ve been swimming with sharks my whole life and working professionally with them for over 15 years. There’s a challenge I have in my efforts, to find a balance between helping people to overcome their fear of sharks that often stems for fictitious demonizing media and instilling a healthy level of respect for sharks as very capable apex predators #ApexPredatorNotMonster not puppy (cause if you pet puppies often even puppies bite, actually a lot ;)). Having worked with sharks for so long I can fully appreciate what they are capable of because I have been rushed by sharks and had to deter them and I have had to leave the water and I have watched them actively predate and compete for space and have confrontations.  However, I’ve also had the most incredible moments of my life in the water with them where 99.9% of the time they cruise gracefully around and so long as I keep looking around and pay attention constantly and quietly and give respect and attention to the more dominant individuals and challenging juveniles on a CONSTANT bases I am treated as more or less an equal predator.  Never complacent, always respectful and adapting at every second to every movement. I reached the point long ago where I dedicated my life to conservation and I love it, I love educating people about sharks and introducing them to them in a professional guided situation through the program I co-founded @oneoceandiving where we also collect data @oneoceanresearch @oneoceansharks and help support conservation through @Oneoceanconservation and @OneoceanEducation and @Oneoceanglobal @Waterinspired @oneoceanhawaii and other with funds from @oneoceandesigns and diving I love studying shark behavior and body language and its an absolute pleasure to share that with people and help them to better appreciate sharks and I hope inspire them to help save them.  Check out http://HelpSaveSharks.Org for more ways to get involved. #Aloha #hawaii #greatWhiteHawaii #SaveTheOcean #ocean #discoversharks #oneoceanconservation #OneOceanDiving PHOTO CREDIT @juansharks ❤️

A post shared by Ocean Ramsey #OceanRamsey (@oceanramsey) on

Ramsey describes the apparently docile Deep Blue as a “big beautiful gentle giant” and is keen to counter the malevolent image of great whites as portrayed in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 movie classic Jaws.

Nevertheless, anyone who’s seen the film will at least be intrigued to know how the real-life and fictional behemoths compare in terms of size.

We crunched the numbers…

Is Deep Blue as big as Jaws?

Because no-one in either scenario is going to try to persuade these giant sharks to jump out of the water and on to a set of scales – or get up close and personal with a tape measure – the following calculations are based on estimates. But in both cases, they are at least estimates by experts, who were just a few feet from the sharks in question…

Deep Blue is estimated by those who dived with her to be almost six metres, or 20 feet, long – about the same as the height of a giraffe or two-thirds the length of a double-decker bus.

As the great white in Jaws glides past Captain Quint’s boat, marine biologist Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) exclaims “that’s a 20-footer!”. But Quint (Robert Shaw) disagrees, upping the ante to “25! And three tons of him!”

Jaws
Jaws (Getty)

If Quint is right, then the shark in Jaws is five feet – say, one Danny DeVito – longer than Deep Blue. No offence to Mr DeVito, but not a huge difference.

But what about weight? Quint reckons his shark weighs three tons – and in 1975 in the US a ton means 2,000 pounds (lbs). So his shark weighs 6,000 lbs, or around 2,700 kilograms.

Deep Blue, meanwhile, is estimated to weigh 2.5 metric tonnes. A metric tonne is 1,000kg, so 2.5 metric tonnes is 2,500kg.

Conclusion? There’s very little in it, especially when you’re excited and probably rounding up like Quint was.

Advertisement

The bottom line is that Jaws was by no means over the top when it predicted how large a great white might get, and Deep Blue is pretty much as big as that famous movie shark – and definitely a lot friendlier.