AN INCREDIBLE video captured the world’s toughest great white shark covered in scars and bite marks after years of explosive underwater clashes.
The huge predator showed off its battle scars while swimming near the Neptune Islands in South Australia.
The area is known to be home to an estimated 1,000 great whites, but it seems this beast is known as the top dog.
The extraordinary clip shows the wounded shark with lacerations over every inch of its skin, as it dwarfs the small fish swimming alongside it.
Underwater cinematographer Dean Spraakman shot the impressive footage during an expedition in January last year.
And he revealed despite its intimidating appearance, the 11ft male was incredibly “friendly.”
Dean said that his team could not be certain of what may have caused the shark’s injuries as no one had come across a shark so badly hurt before.
The animal lover explained they initially presumed the scars may have been caused by boat propellers.
Another suspicion was that the huge shark had been caught up in the tuna pens in the area, but they quickly dismissed both theories.
Dean said of his encounter with the “world’s toughest” great white: “No one has ever seen a shark in a condition like this before.
“We see sometimes down there the white sharks tracking stingrays because they hunt and eat them and we thought they chase them into shallow reef areas where it’s quite sharp and it might get stuck and cause that sort of damage.
“You can only speculate what happened there and to be honest no one knows or ever really know what causes that sort of damage to a shark but the poor guy had a bit of a hard time I think.
“I noticed he had scars on him but I didn’t realise to what length until I reviewed the footage later,” he added.
“He was very calm and coming close and quite curious which was great.
“He was really friendly, just very calm and wasn’t aggravated from everything he’s been through.
“He came very close, within an arm’s reach from me- sometimes when you get a good shark like that, they just want to come and look you in the eye, just have a really good look at who you are.”
National Geographic explorer Prof Yannis Papastamatiou also weighed in on the topic, suggesting the marks may have been caused during a brawl with another shark.
The predator behavioral expert said: “Females are often heavily scarred from mating behaviour.
“But males can get bitten as well during dominance interactions between sharks e.g. a larger shark may want a smaller shark and dominate the smaller individual with a non-fatal warning bite.
“Some of the scarrings around the face may also be caused by their prey such as seals.”
The Neptune Islands, where the shark was spotted, are well known as a venue for great white tourism.
The species can reach up to 20 feet long, seen with Deep Blue the biggest great white ever recorded, weighing in a whopping 2.5 tonnes.
The gigantic female was last spotted swimming dangerously close to a pair of brave divers in Guadalupe, Mexico.
The coasts of Australia, California, and South Africa are among the most popular great white sharks hotspots but there have been occasions the predators have been spotted in the Mediterranean as well.
Dozens of unsuspecting swimmers have ran into sharks prowling the waters across the world this year.
As of August 1, there have been 55 reported shark attacks in 2022. Six were fatal.
But one shark attack survivor, who lost his arm and his leg, turned ocean activist urged humans to remember that “we are guests in their home.”
GREAT WHITE SHARK FACTS
Great White Sharks are usually 4.5m (15ft) in length
They are a blue-grey colour on the top of the bodies
Strong bodies and powerful tails help the marine mammals swim as fast as 35mph
They stay close to the surface of the water, so they can capture their prey more easily
Most of the world’s Great White Sharks live off the coast of South Africa
Their sense of smell is so good that the sharks can detect the scent of blood from three miles away
Great White Sharks have a whopping 230 teeth in their mouth – making just one bite fatal
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