How Deep Do Great White Sharks Swim: A Deep Dive

Do you ever wonder what lurks beneath the surface of the ocean? We all know how frightening of a predator sharks are, but the great white sharks are some of the most feared habitants in the sea and beyond.

How deep do great white sharks swim?

Keep reading to learn more about these fantastic creatures and their fascinating deep-diving habits.

How Deep Can Great White Sharks Swim

If you’ve ever gone swimming in the deep ocean waters and pondered upon the ocean wildlife, your mind likely wandered to the ocean’s most notorious predators—great white sharks.

Not knowing the speed or swimming depth at which they live and hunt might make anyone uneasy. So, if you’ve wondered how fast different subspecies of sharks can swim or how deep a great white shark can dive, we have you covered.

Great white sharks are known to spend most of their time near the surface of the water (i.e., they spend most of their life at depths of up to 200 meters). Nevertheless, recent studies have discovered that they’re also capable of long-distance migration. They travel slowly and can go as deep as 900 meters under the water.

There’s this one exception where a great white shark is known to dive to depths of 3,937 ft (1,200 m) below the water surface. According to the study’s lead scientist, Malcolm Francis, this is the world’s deepest great white shark dive record. It extends the apex predators’ known vertical range by about 600 feet, which is significant given that big whites were previously considered coastal hunters.

How Deep Do Sharks Live

Sharks are some of the most feared predators in the world. But how deep do these ocean-dwellers typically live?

Most sharks live in waters between depths of 100 and 1,000 meters (330 and 3,280 feet). Some species, like the great white shark, have been known to venture into shallower waters in search of prey. But others, like the goblin shark, can live at much greater depths—sometimes as deep as 1,300 m (4,265 ft).

How deep do great white sharks swim

How Deep Can Other Sharks Swim

Frilled sharks or Hexanchiformes are known to swim quite deep in the ocean. They usually live 3,300 feet below the surface of the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. The lowest they were recorded swimming was 5,150 feet, though.

The third-largest predatory sharks, Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, have six gills instead of the usual five for the species. We can find them 700–1,200 feet deep in tropical areas worldwide. Their deepest recorded signal was at 6,000 feet, which usually happens when vertical migrations are in motion.

Cookiecutter sharks are among the smallest subspecies. They’re deep-sea predators that get their name from their habit of biting round chunks out of larger animals. They are found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide, typically at depths of between 1,000 and 3,000 feet. They are, though, capable of swimming much deeper—cookiecutter sharks are at times found at 10,764 feet deep.

Lastly: according to several scientists, the Portuguese dogfish is currently the deepest-living shark. They usually live 12,057 feet below the surface of the water.

How deep do great white sharks swim

Key Takeaways

So, how deep do great white sharks swim?

They mostly roam near the water surface, but this is not to say that all great white sharks stay at this depth; some have been known to dive as deep as 1,000 m  in search of prey. But the fact remains that most of these predators stay relatively close to the surface.

We hope this article has helped you understand a little bit more about great whites and their capabilities.


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