Five of the Biggest Sharks In The World [Slideshow]

Sharks were cruising around the ocean for over 100 million years before the first dinosaur appeared on land. Even though these ancient predators were regulating the seas long before humans, they remain some of the most misunderstood and under-appreciated animals the world has ever known.

During Shark Week, we’re celebrating the beauty, mystery, and might of the shark as a way to create awareness about the way commercial fishing is decimating its populations, putting the health of our oceans at risk.

If you’ve seen the movie Jaws, you might think the Great White is the biggest shark in the ocean, but here are five other sharks that give the Great White a run for its money:

1. Big Eye Thrasher Shark

Bigeye Thresher sharks are of a purplish grey color and can reach lengths up to 15.1 feet long and can weigh up to 795 lbs. This wide-eyed shark prefers to live in tropical oceans around the world and can be found at depths up to 1650 feet deep.

2. Bluntnose Sixgill Shark

The Bluntnose can reach over 18 feet in length and weighs at least 1,300 pounds when full grown. Although it prefers to dwell in rocky seamounts and mid-ocean ridges, it can sometimes be spotted in shallow waters at night.

3. Great Hammerhead Shark

The biggest of all the hammerheads, the Great Hammerhead Shark can grow to an astounding 20 feet in length. With a preference for warmer tropical waters, hammerheads can sometimes be spotted by humans enjoying a day at the beach. But although they are dangerous, they’re actually shy, and would prefer not to encounter humans if they can help it.

4. Greenland Shark

Unlike the previous sharks on this list, the Greenland Shark prefers the icy cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean near Greenland and Iceland. Known to grow up to 21 feet long and live as long as 200 years, they are considered to be the longest living vertebrates on Earth.

5. Basking Shark

The Basking is the second largest fish on the entire planet. It can grow to be as long as 40 feet and has been reported at weighing as much as 19 tons. It might be hard to believe, but this beast isn’t even an ocean predator–it’s a filter feeder that eats nothing but plankton.

Related Reading:

Sharks And Other Predators Are Essential For Ocean Health

Should Shark Week Focus On Conservation?

Shark Deaths Throwing Off Ocean Balance


Image Credits via Creative Commons: Tanaka JuuyohPIRO-NOAA Observer Program | | istolethetv | marinebiodiversity.caChris Gotschalk

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Andrea A.
Andrea A.3 years ago


Clayton M.
Clayton M.4 years ago

This list is missing
a) the Great White Shark
b) the Tiger Shark
and c) the Whale Shark.

Anyie Araya
Anyie Araya4 years ago

where are the great white shark??

Zoe B.
Zoe B.4 years ago

I feel for the high percentage who have never seen these magnificent creatures. To have swam with a few types, I can say, it disgusts, and scares me how firstly, the media can sometimes portray sharks, and secondly, the blind ignorance of some people towards them.

any news page carrying a story about sharks always has IDIOTS lining up to say people are stupid for filming, helping, or being interested in them, and how they should all be culled.
Many people don't seem to understand the food chain, ecosystems, and the laws of nature.
Further still, many folk believe that anything they personally don't like, should be just killed off.

Nicole B.
Nicole B.4 years ago

Sorry for the typo's, my fingers aren't working the best this morning. LOL

Nicole B.
Nicole B.4 years ago

We were swimming in Kiawa Island in SC when one of the guys there started gettung swarmed by baby sharks (not sure what kind they were). Turns out he had a picket full of shrimp fir fishing and they wanted it. I didn't like the fishing part which he never did, but it was a neat experience. My son who was 4 at the time got to pet a live shark and then watch it swim free. I'll never forget that. :)

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun4 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Renato G.
Renato G.4 years ago

Maybe , i'll "see/face" a shark to the "path from this existence to another" .... Tks for sending to us .....

Mara C.
Mara Comitas4 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Until now, I never knew anything about the Greenland shark. Amazing that it can live to 200 years!