Some of the biggest sharks in the world are nearly impossible to sea as they live far out in the ocean. Others can be seen on organized tours.
But the biggest sharks should always be taken seriously as their predator instinct also makes them very dangerous.
It has been said that sharks don’t refrain from attacking humans. This is true as there seems to be news of shark attacks on humans almost every year.
But far from thinking about how to avoid sharks, this article looks at the biggest sharks that live today.
Table of Contents
- The Largest Sharks In The World
- 1. Whale Shark: 61.7 feet (18.8 metres)
- 2. Basking Shark: 40.3 feet (12.27 metres)
- 3. Tiger Shark: 25 feet (7.5 metres)
- 4. Greenland Shark: 24 feet (7.3 metres)
- 5. Great White Shark: 23 feet (7 metres)
- 6. Goblin Shark: 20.2 feet (6.17 metres)
- 7. Great Hammerhead Shark: 20 feet (6.1 metres)
- 8. Common Thresher Shark: 20 feet (6.1 metres)
- 9. Megamouth Shark: 17 feet (5.2 metres)
- 10. Pacific Sleeper Shark: 14 feet (4.4 metres)
The Largest Sharks In The World
|Number||Shark||Length (feet)||Length (metres)|
|5||Great White Shark||23||7|
|7||Great Hammerhead Shark||20||6.1|
|8||Common Thresher Shark||20||6.1|
|10||Pacific Sleeper Shark||14||4.4|
1. Whale Shark: 61.7 feet (18.8 metres)
The Whale shark can reach incredible sizes of up to 50 feet. Some rare spotting has generated reports that saw Whale sharks of around 60 feet.
But today, this shark is known for its filter-feeding mouth, mainly made for small fish.
Today, the Wahle shark can be seen in aquariums of China and Japan. It is considered expensive to breed in captivity as it needs very large aquariums and proper climate control.
But you don’t need to travel to open waters to see this star-spotted shark in person.
If you live in the US, you can see the Whale shark in captivity at the popular Georgia Aquarium. This Atlanta destination is a perfect spot for the entire family to learn more about the biggest shark in the world.
2. Basking Shark: 40.3 feet (12.27 metres)
The Basking shark has fueled mythology and endless stories of fisherman’s tales. This shark has the largest mouth you can see on this list, meaning it can attack and eat almost all types of sea life such as fish and sea birds.
3. Tiger Shark: 25 feet (7.5 metres)
Tiger sharks have been caught by fishermen a few times over the past few decades. Unlike the Goblin shark, the Tiger shark likes to eat almost anything found in the water.
It has a very wide food spectrum which means it eats turtles and sea snakes alongside fish. This type of shark with spots comes at a regular size of 15 feet when reaching adulthood.
4. Greenland Shark: 24 feet (7.3 metres)
Found in the North Pacific, the Greenland shark also grows to lengths of around 15 feet. This species of shark has been intensively studied by scientists.
One Greenland shark has been naming the oldest vertebrae on earth with an estimated life of over 400 years.
Proteins in the eyes of the shark were analyzed to determine the age of the shark which is believed to have reached sexual maturity around the age of 150.
5. Great White Shark: 23 feet (7 metres)
The Great white shark reaches lengths of up to 20 feet. It has been named as the most dangerous to people as it attacks fishermen almost every year.
The large size and aggressiveness of the shark also make it one of the biggest sea predators. It even attacks whales.
6. Goblin Shark: 20.2 feet (6.17 metres)
The Goblin shark can grow to lengths of over 3m making it larger than humans. But the way it looks and the areas it lives to make it almost look like a being from another planet.
This shark is the only representative of its species to survive a long process of evolution of over 100 million years.
Found only at the bottom of the ocean, the shark looks distinct with a long nose and separate jaws, almost like an alien to those who see it in person.
The Goblin has jaws that leap forward when attacking prey. This shark is very slow in its movements through the water until it has to attack small fish.
With jaws that move independently with up to 10 feet per second, it leaves no chance even to the fastest fish around it. This shark is also hunting at low depths in areas with no light.
7. Great Hammerhead Shark: 20 feet (6.1 metres)
The Great hammerhead shark is the largest shark species in the hammerhead sub-spectrum. It is heavily fished in areas of the world where humans use it for food.
In Asia, the hammerhead shark is often turned into tasty shark soup. But this type of shark is known for rarely attacking humans and if you look it up online, you’ll find videos of people feeding the hammerhead shark while diving.
8. Common Thresher Shark: 20 feet (6.1 metres)
This shark is the largest from the Alopiidae family. It represents an interesting species as its thin and pointed tail makes up for more than half of its 20 feet length.
Some people say this tail is used to incapacitate its enemies under a direct attack. Others say that this shark has a long tail as a result of evolution from other species. What we know is that this shark is fast and that it eats small fish.
9. Megamouth Shark: 17 feet (5.2 metres)
This is one of the most interesting sharks in our civilization. It’s rarely seen by humans and not many people can even know where to look for it.
This deep-sea shark lives at very low depths in areas where only special gear can protect humans from high water pressure.
This shark has a round shake and it can measure up to 18 feet, making it a small shark in comparison to those living higher up in the water but a large shark compared to other species from low sea depths.
Some even say this type of shark looks like a fish the most.
10. Pacific Sleeper Shark: 14 feet (4.4 metres)
The Pacific sleeper shark gets its name from how quietly it moves. Other fish can barely hear it in water which makes it a top predator.
It is normally found in the Northern Hemisphere close to Canadian territorial waters. But this shark is large, it reaches up to 20 feet in length.
The biggest difference it has over other predators is that it uses suction to catch its prey. It sucks in fish which makes it hard to beat when it comes to praying for success.
A few of these sharks have been caught by fishermen. But even so, nobody knows when these sharks reproduce and how they do it exactly. But this shark also has its predators like large whales.