The great white shark holds the record for most shark attacks on humans in over three hundred species of sharks. It is no wonder you would want to know how fast a great white shark swim. Of course, the top speed of the great white shark plays a part in its hunting capacity.
So, how fast can a great white shark swim? The great white shark can swim up to the speed of 56 km/h (15 miles per hour). The speed of this species of shark plays a major role in its hunting coupled with its plenteous teeth.
Movies and documentaries have said and shown a lot about the great white sharks. Well, this article could be a shocker; you would find out the surprising truth about the great white shark’s speed.
Are Great White Sharks The Fastest Sharks?
Sharks are the hunters and top predators of the ocean; their speed helped them attain this feat alongside their tough skin and plenty of teeth. So, how fast is the great white shark in comparison to the fastest shark in the ocean?
The great white shark swims at the speed of 56 km/h (15 miles per hour) whilst the shortfin mako shark swims at the speed of 45 miles per hour earning the title of the fastest shark. Yes, they are that fast.
That’s a lot of gap between the shortfin mako shark and the great white shark. Although, for some reason, the great white shark still holds the highest record of shark attacks on humans.
Now, you’re wondering how these sharks can swim this fast, well, the reason is their skin and the absence of bone in them. Cartilages allow them to be able to swim so fast.
Can Humans Swim Faster Than Great White Sharks?
Human nature of competitiveness would want it to test its ability with whatever and whomever. This is not any different; humans want to know if they can swim faster than a great white shark.
The answer to this question now is “no” and would remain “no” in the future. Humans in their best speed can swim at the speed of 6 miles per hour at the peak of their athleticism; a speed that a “strolling” shark could easily reach.
An average human can swim three times lesser than 6 miles per hour. Michael Phelps swam 6 miles per hour in 2010.
The great white shark swims 56 km/h (15 miles per hour) almost triple the best humans can swim whilst the fastest shark – the shortfin mako shark can swim at the speed of 45 miles per hour, that’s more than ten times faster.
Don’t even try competing with sharks when you see them, you’d be left far behind.
Where Are Great White Sharks Seen Most?
The dread of great white sharks portrayed in movies and documentaries is why humans would want to know where great white sharks are seen the most.
The habitat of Great white sharks includes coastal and offshore waters. These environments have temperatures 55 and 76 0F. They stay in places where there are plenty of fishes and other marine animals.
The movie Jaws (1975) was inspired by this species of shark; there are two places according to the OCEARCH that great white sharks occur the most. The water off Cape Cod in Massachusetts scene of the jaws movies and the second one is the ocean around North Carolina’s Outer Banks. See source.
Just so you don’t go diving with great white sharks or be a victim of the viciousness of these sharks, it is but wise that you know where great white sharks occur the most.
What Do Great White Sharks Eat?
Like every shark, great white sharks feed on other fishes and other aquatic animals. Great white sharks are of the Lamnidea family – fishes of prey or mackerel fish.
Young great white sharks begin to fend for themselves immediately after birth, hunting smaller fishes, sharks, and rays. As they grow bigger, they begin to eat large aquatic animals, sharks; their favorite becomes sea mammals especially sea lions and seals.
Great white sharks are fast swimmers, deadly hunters, and very vicious animals. They get to hunt for their prey with their speed, coloring, plenty of teeth, and their sense of smell too.
The record of having more attacks on humans does not mean that great white sharks have humans on their food menu. Their attacks are mostly panic attacks on humans as a result of colorful swimsuits, the smell of blood – in all great white sharks are just sample bitters.
How Deep Can A Great White Shark Dive?
The great white shark can dive to the depth of 1, 200 m (3, 900 ft) in the ocean spending most of their lives that deep in the ocean. That is the average depth of the Atlantic Ocean.
Great white sharks are built for survival and kill which means they would do anything to achieve this. They stay underneath and hunt prey from that depth of the ocean sneaking up on their prey.
Deep diving exposes sharks to colder water so they would be having a good reason before they would be going that deep. Great white sharks are warm-blooded, to be able to digest food their temperature would have to be above that of the ocean. See source
Human divers begin to experience twice the pressure they felt because of the air on the surface when they dive up to 10 meters of the ocean. At 10 meters depth, the ocean already absorbs 80% sunlight.
Can You Swim With A Great White Shark?
It is inviting to want to swim with a great white shark, with its beautiful coloring and great size but then it is not advisable to swim with these creatures except you’re cage diving. The shark’s great size and plenteous teeth of great white shark could make you pee your pants.
They could sample-bite divers thinking they are seals. However, some are human-friendly, allowing humans to swim with them. See source.
Humans are not on the menu list of sharks. Often, times when they discover what they have bitten is not on their menu list, they spit it out and just swim away.
Divers who want to swim close to great white sharks are advised to go cage diving to be able to protect themselves against the shark and behold its beauty.
Ultimately, you could swim with a great white shark but then you should be in a cage for your own safety.
How Can The Great White Shark Swim So Fast?
So, answering the question, how can the great white shark swim so fast? It would be pertinent to note some of the key factors that enable the great white shark to swim at such a high speed underwater.
The skeletal system of a great white shark has no bone but is made of cartilages. Cartilages are not as dense as bones but they are just what the shark needs for survival in the ocean; cartilages help the shark to swim fast underwater.
The shark also swings its tail from side to side so fast, it propels them faster than the tails of other fishes.
Some predatory fishes like the shortfin makos and great white sharks can conserve their metabolic heat. This is usually in a manner unique to coldblooded creatures. This means that they are not entirely coldblooded and can generate the necessary energy needed for short bursts. See source.
This page clears the air for those asking questions such as “how fast can a great white shark swim?”, “are great white sharks the fastest sharks?”, “How deep can the great white shark dive?” and other related questions.
In the end, we found out the speed that a great white shark can reach and how deep it can dive into the depth of the ocean.
Although, great white sharks are not the fastest in the species of sharks they have a great speed even humans cannot beat, not even Michael Phelps an Olympic swimmer that set the record of swimming at 6 miles per hour.