A huge great white shark has been spotted off the coast of Florida, so you might want to change your vacation plans.
Florida has it rough. Sure, the weather might be nice 95% of the year, but that remaining 5%? Apocalyptic hurricanes. And even when its fair weather, Floridians have another menace to deal with.
No, it’s not near-sighted old people driving even older cars. It’s sharks. Specifically, a 2,000-lb great white shark named Unama'ki.
You might be wondering how a 15-foot, 5-inch-long shark got a name. That’s because Unama'ki had the good fortune to get tagged by OCEARCH, a non-profit organization that tracks large marine life. Unama'ki was initially spotted around Nova Scotia, Canada, and so was given a name from the indigenous people who live there. It means “"land of the fog."
As for her size, she’s an old and mature female great white, with 2,000 lbs being pretty average. The largest great white recorded was estimated to be 20 feet long and weigh over 4,000 lbs. Still, you probably don’t want to meet Unama'ki in the middle of the ocean--at least, not without a good steel cage to protect you.
"As a big mature female, Unama'ki has the potential to lead us to the site where she gives birth and exposes a new white shark nursery," writes OCEARCH on their website which also shows Unama'ki’s last recorded location. She’s been steadily migrating toward the Gulf of Mexico and passed by the Florida Keys last Saturday. She was last spotted heading into the shallow waters of the Gulf.
As terrifying as great whites have been made out to be in films like Jaws, shark attacks are still exceedingly rare. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, "Humans are 30 times more likely to be struck by lightning in Florida than to be bitten by a shark." And if you are bitten, "Shark attacks are fatal only 1% of the time, 10 times less than the current worldwide average."
That said, great whites still account for the most fatalities of all shark attacks globally. But with this shark, we’ve got a pretty good defense. Just bookmark the OCEARCH website and you’ll be able to spot her coming.