UPDATE Jeffrey Gallant – GEERG (Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group) has commented that this is more likely a southern sleeper shark (Somniosus antarcticus), and could also possibly be a Pacific sleeper shark (Somniosus pacificus). However, it is “virtually impossible” to tell based solely on imagery.
The crew aboard of the Stena DrillMAX caught some amazing footage earlier this month of what appears to be a large Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) recorded at over 9,100′ (2,770m) deep. To give a frame of reference, the pipe seen in the background is approximately 5′ (1.5m) in diameter. The depth (in feet) can be seen on the video in the upper-right corner.
The footage was recorded by ROV (remotely operated vehicle) about 300 miles (400km) off the coast of Brazil on February 11, 2012.
The Florida Museum of Natural History notes that a Greenland shark was recorded in 1988 at 7,218 feet (2,200 m) at the wreck of the SS Central America off Savannah, Georgia, USA. This is the greatest depth on record that I’ve been able to find, prior to the depth documented in the Stena DrillMAX video above which exceeds the 1988 recorded depth by about 1,900′ (over 500m).
If anyone has any other information about maximum recorded depths of sleeper sharks caught on film, please let me know, so I can pass it on to the Stena DrillMAX crew. Thanks!
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