The BlueWorldTV YouTube channel recently added the video above, which features host Jonathan Bird traveling to Baie-Comeau, Canada with the hopes of diving with Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus). While Bird’s first few rounds of dive don’t pay off, eventually he encounters the cold-water sleeper shark after moving further from shore for deeper dives. Footage of a Greenland shark starts around the 5:40 mark in the video.
You can check out the Jonathan Bird’s Blue World website for more information about Bird’s marine-focused, educational programming.
UPDATE: Check out the comments section for more information regarding Greenland sharks in St. Lawrence Seaway and maximum weight recorded for a Greenland shark. Thanks to Jeffrey Gallant of GEERG.
An article from the Alaska Dispatch presents a theory suggesting that lake monsters, such as those that have been reportedly sighted at Loch Ness and Alaska’s Lake Iliamna, could be large sleeper sharks, like the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) or Pacific sleeper shark (Somniosus pacificus). The article’s author, Bruce Wright, notes the documented presence of Greenland sharks in the St. Lawrence Seaway as providing credibility to the theory of sleeper sharks being able to survive in freshwater.
Pacific sleeper sharks are known to inhabit the waters around Alaska, and it has been suggested, by some, that Greenland sharks might be inhabiting the United Kingdom’s waters. Both species are believed to be able to reach maximum lengths of over 20′, and Wright believes these large sleeper sharks might be the key to explaining “lake monster” sightings at Loch Ness and Lake Iliamna.
Wright plans to lead an expedition in hopes of documenting the presence of a sleeper shark in Alaska’s Lake Iliamna later this year.
For more information, check out the Wright’s sleeper shark theory article.
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!
Cananda’s Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG) recently posted a video featuring the successful tagging of a Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) to their YouTube channel. The tagging process seen in the video involves diving in 10 ºC (50 ºF) water with very little visibility, off of Baie-Comeau, Québec.
The Greenland shark is a coldwater species that can inhabit subarctic and arctic waters as cold as -2 ºC, according to Canadian Shark Research Laboratory. It is believed to be the only shark species that can inhabit these water. The average length of adult Greenland sharks is 11 to 16′ (3.5-5m), with the largest Greenland shark on record being measured at 21′ (6.4m). The species is also known to inhabit extreme depths.
UPDATE: This video is actually over 3 years old and was shot in the Gulf of Mexico according to YouTube user sharkyjones who posted the video in May, 2007. The shark is indeed a Greenland shark (Somniosis microcephalus), according to the video information.
YouTube user mmoo490 recently posted this video which is listed as “A Transocean video of a shark passing in front of a BOP stack-up.” Unlike some of the ridiculous hoax photos of sharks supposedly spotted on ROV cameras as of late, this one looks like legitimate footage. The information about the video is sparse and does not indicate where the BOP (blowout preventer) stack is, at what depth the camera was at, etc. Based on the video the dorsal fin appears to be almost non-existent on this shark. Anybody have an idea on what species this is? Greenland shark, maybe?