A great white shark was devoured off the coast of Australia, and now scientists are trying to find the mystery creature that could have managed the task. The search will be shown in a new documentary set to air on the Smithsonian Channel. The Christian Post shared the story behind the documentary on June 9. The documentary is titled "Hunt for the Super Predator."
It is not every day that you hear about a nine foot shark being devoured whole. That is what happened to Alpha though. The female shark was one of the sharks tagged by scientists, and her tag washed up on shore after Christmas Eve one year. This event happened 11 years ago, but the documentary is bringing new attention to the shark's demise. Alpha was tagged just four months before her death, and her tag gave scientists data on what happened to her just before Christmas Eve that year.
What happened to Alpha the shark? The female was swimming in the ocean 1,900 feet. The tag information shows that Alpha plummeted another 100 feet quickly, and the temperature of the water also changed rapidly. This led scientists to the theory that Alpha was eaten by another much larger animal. Dave Riggs, a cinematographer for the documentary, said the following about the incident: "The question that not only came to my mind but everyone's mind who was involved was, 'what did that?' "It was obviously eaten. What's gonna eat a shark that big? What could kill a 9ft great white?"
One theory about the mystery creature is that a cannibal shark ate the female great white shark. This means that Alpha wandered into a territory that was already claimed by a larger great white shark. The larger shark might have just been hungry too, according to Latino Post. In order to eat Alpha, a larger shark would have been about 16-feet-long and come in at a weight of two tons.
The change in temperature at the time of the incident does give scientists more of a clue behind the identity of the giant predator as well. Riggs revealed the following: "Looking at the profile of the animal that ate it, 26 degrees, that's pretty high but not enough to be a mammal but it's something seriously huge to sustain that temperature - the larger the animal, the more capable it is of an elevated temperature."
Sharks have definitely been making more news lately. There have been two recent shark attacks off the coast of Florida. Shark sightings off the coast of Santa Barbara in California have also forced the closure of a Leadbetter Beach for 24 hours as well. The closure is to keep swimmers out of the water and safe from shark attacks. According to KEYT, the beach is now back open, but there is still a warning in place.
What do you think? What was big enough to eat the nine-foot-shark off the coast of Australia? Will you be tuning in to watch this documentary when it airs on the Smithsonian Channel on June 25? Share your thoughts below.