Animals

Great White Shark Spotted Near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Spring breakers, beware!

A 12-foot great white shark is hanging out near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina—and it doesn’t seem like he has plans to leave anytime soon. The 12-foot long, 1,300-pound great white shark is named “Hilton” and researchers at OCEARCH have been following his movements via a GPS tag.

Hilton was first tagged on March 3, and he has been swimming around the Grand Strand area of Myrtle Beach ever since. (He was located and tagged near Hilton Head Island, hence his name.)

But, before you start panicking, the great white isn’t out to ruin your spring break. In fact, researchers hope that by following his movements, beach-goers will become educated—and maybe even excited—about ocean wildlife.

OCEARCH allows the public to follow nearly 200 sharks with their awesome online portal. You can track the movements of these incredible creatures using real-time data through OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker. The researchers also use the tracker to learn more about sharks’ diets, migration and breeding. These tech-savvy sharks even have their own Twitter pages!

How cool is that?

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And these squiggly lines below show the tracks of several different sharks in Lowcountry (a region along South Carolina’s coast). Look at them go!

We know it’s tempting to scream in horror when you think about a bunch of sharks swimming around in the same water you’re wading into, but here’s the thing: Your chances of being attacked by a shark are extremely low. In fact, you are more likely to be killed a by a dog, a deer or even an ANT than a shark.

That being said, there are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid swimming at dusk, dawn or in the dark, when sharks are likely to be on the hunt.
  2. Don’t wear shiny jewelry or clothing.
  3. Swim in a group.
  4. Don’t swim in waters that are being fished.
  5. Use good judgment and don’t go in the water if a shark has been spotted.

Those seeking extra protection (or simply peace of mind) may consider buying a SharkBanz, a bracelet that emits magnetic waves as a way to deter sharks. (You can buy one for around $65 on Amazon.)

But remember: Sharks aren’t out to get humans. In fact, we are more of a danger to sharks than they are to us. It is estimated that humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks a year.

Kudos to OCEARCH for their important work, and make sure to follow some of these awe-inspiring animals on Twitter.

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Want to learn more about shark conservation? Check out Project Aware.

 

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