Researchers have said a 2,137-pound great white shark is currently making its way toward North Carolina's Outer Banks.
According to a Facebook post from international great white shark research organization OCEARCH, the 15-foot giant named Luna "pinged in" on May 9 at 11.34 am off Charleston, stated a Fox News report. The size of the fish is reportedly equivalent to the dimensions of a Volkswagen Passat.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated that Luna was swimming over the Charleston Bump, which is a "deepwater bottom feature 80 to 100 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina." The organization explained on its website that the bump is a deepwater bank and deflects the flow of the Gulf Stream.
The colossal fish began its journey traveling south from the Canadian coast in October 2018 and swam to the southern tip of the Florida panhandle before taking a U-turn toward the Carolinas. While the Charlotte Observer reported that Luna was heading toward the Outer Banks, OCEARCH's post confirmed that another 12-foot, nine-inch great white shark named Caroline was closer to Edisto Beach in South Carolina. Caroline had pinged in on Monday off the coast of Georgia, OCEARCH tweeted.
The organization explained to the Pensacola News Journal that a "ping" occurs when a tagged shark's dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water, launching a signal to a satellite.
According to OCEARCH, a 1,688-pound great white named Miss Costa pinged in off the Gulf of Mexico in April.
It is isn't unusual for great white sharks to swim through the Gulf of Mexico. However, Miss Costa’s cruise through the Florida Panhandle was particularly significant as a ping from a large female so far north into the Gulf is a rare occurrence, OCEARCH said at the time. In tracking Miss Costa and other great white sharks, the organization hopes to understand the movement patterns of sharks in the Gulf.
The National Geographic had stated that great white sharks can grow to more than 20 feet long and can weigh 2.5 tons or more. According to experts, the great whites off the Carolinas are currently feasting on fish dragged north by the Gulf Stream.
"They aren't picky eaters," wrote Shark Insider. "The great white shark diet seems to be as diverse as they come... These fish are extremely curious creatures."