Why can't you see a Great White Shark in captivity?

Even if you have never asked the question, you might be surprised by the answer! For years, aquariums have tried to keep Great White Sharks in captivity, but none have succeeded for more than a few days.

It’s one of marine biology’s biggest mysteries, and the one who can crack it stands to make big money! With the surfing world in a ‘shark frenzy’ right now, caused by the recent attacks on surfers and of course, the super high profile attack on Mick Fanning at J-Bay, people want to see these monsters of the sea up close. They want to stand on the other side of a glass wall, with those razor sharp teeth mere centimeters from their faces. But nobody can deliver them that!

Aquariums keep whale sharks in captivity, very successfully, and they’re the biggest fish living in the ocean! Whales? No problem. Reef sharks? Sure thing! But the Great White, lasts only a few days without meticulous care and attention. The longest anyone has been able to keep a Great White in captivity is a touch over 6 months, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium chose to release it back into the wild after that for one of two reasons. One, it was insanely expensive. Two, if they hadn’t, the shark would have only lasted a couple of days longer.

So what makes the Great Whites different? Nobody knows for sure, but they think it has to do with the sharks needing massive amounts of space. Watch a track from a Great White, and you’ll see they cover huge amounts of ocean in seemingly random patterns. That’s just one part of it though, check out the video below to see more!


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