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Megalodon Shark

Listed under Monster Hunting in Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

  • Photo of Megalodon Shark
  • Photo of Megalodon Shark
  • Photo of Megalodon Shark
Photo of Megalodon Shark
Photo by flickr user ideonexus
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Around 16 million years before Jaws was first released at the cinema, a shark twice the size of the largest great white on record lurked in the depths of the oceans of the Miocene and Pliocene eras. Had humans been around to see it, they would have stood as tall as its dorsal fin; it was the largest predatory fish ever to exist. Despite its monstrous size, it would have been able to reach great speeds when attacking. Streamlined, muscular and with rows of gleaming six-inch teeth, it devoured whales without much trouble, as well as prehistoric seals and large fish.

We may recall how we smiled with relief as we saw the scale diagrams of prehistoric monsters next to tiny human figures in our schoolbooks and felt grateful for the centuries separating us from them, but perhaps we should be a little less indifferent. Sightings of the great white’s outsized ancestor are rare but the little evidence available is not entirely unconvincing. For example, teeth marks and even whole teeth far too big to have come from a great white’s mouth have been found in the hulls of boats around the Great Barrier Reef and off the coast of Western Australia, sometimes following a collision with something large and unidentified underwater. A number of fishermen who worked in the Gulf of Mexico in the 1930s are on record as having been quite blasé about the many occasions on which a monstrous, thirty-foot shark had leapt up and swallowed a semi-winched net full of fish, or simply lingered to feast on the smaller sharks and dolphins attracted by the catch.

The possibility of there being a relict group of megalodons still roaming the seas is terrifying but possible; perhaps they are descended from a few survivors that made it through the period when, according to fossil records, extinction hit. Only a small percentage of our oceans has been explored and understood, and the depths are still known to hide mind-bogglingly weird creatures unknown to science. There is certainly sufficient food to support a population of sharks of this size, so although conclusive physical evidence of their existence is hard to come by, it would be complacent to assume that the water is safe…

Written by  larapiegeler.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Curious if anyone’s has checked out the new book “Hell’s Aquarium” by Steve Alten? It’s an awesome read. It’s about the ancient prehistoric shark Megalodon, which makes the current Great White Shark look like a gold fish. I am currently reading it now:

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