Researchers Found A Massive Great White Shark In Nova Scotia That’s Longer And Heavier Than A VW Bus

great white shark

iStockphoto / Peter_Nile

The Volkswagen Type 2 is best known as the ‘VW Bus’ and it measures a cool 14.75 feet long and weighs up to 2723-pounds depending on the year and configuration but most VW buses weigh a little less than 2,400 pounds. Those iconic hippie rides have NOTHING on this Great White Shark that has been named Nukumi by Ocearch researchers.

The team from Ocearch documents and monitors more Great White Sharks than any other crew on the planet by bringing them onboard their unique mothership and safely tagging the shark before getting it back into the water. Their latest shark is being called the ‘Queen of the Ocean’ and is estimated to be around 50 years old.

This shark was caught in the Northern Atlantic Ocean off of Nova Scotia and the name Nukumi means “the legendary wise old grandmother figure” in the native language of the Indigenous Mi’kmaq people who are a First Nations group in that region of Canada, according to NBC News.

After getting Nukumi onto the ship and taking measurements they found that she weighed an astounding 3,541 pounds and measured a colossal 17-feet-2-inches long. Ocearch shared Instagram footage of this shark being brought on board and it’s wild to see something so massive up close to people.

Since tagging Nukumi, the Ocearch team has also tagged two more sharks named Ruth and Edithe so the shark activity has been quite busy in Nova Scotia on this recent expedition. Chris Fischer is the Ocearch expedition leader on Expedition Nova Scotia and he later added this bit about the shark (via NBC News):

“She’s probably 50-years-old and certainly her first litters of pups she would have been having 30 years ago are also making babies, really humbling to stand next to a large animal like that,” Fischer said. “When you look at all the healed-over scars and blotches and things that are on her skin, you’re really looking at the story of her life and it makes you feel really insignificant.”

Here’s that Instagram caption (from above) just in case it isn’t showing up for you:

“Great Respect for Great Whites: “When you handle an animal of this size it will hit you in a completely different way from an emotional standpoint.” -Chris Fischer, OCEARCH Expedition Leader on 3,541 lbs 17’2” greatwhiteshark Nukumi (pronounced noo-goo-mee) “You feel this aweness and respect for the animal, its wisdom, what it’s done to provide for us all. A deep level of respect.” The OCEARCH science team was able to tag, sample, and release beautiful #whiteshark Nukumi, and she will help provide more data for 21 collaborative research projects along with the seven other #sharks tagged during ExpeditionNovaScotia Nukumi is the largest greatwhite that OCEARCH has studied in the NW Atlantic to date.”

Their unique ‘mothership’ boat allows them to lower a platform into the water to then raise the shark up to the boat’s main platform without too much distress and they can keep the shark hydrated as they measure and tag the specimen before quickly getting it back into the water. If you’re curious about learning more you should 100% toss @OCEARCH a follow on Instagram and keep up with their latest expeditions.

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