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Divers Risk It All to Swim Next to Biggest Great White Shark Ever Recorded

Divers made a newsworthy discovery: the largest great white shark ever recorded. So, what did they do next? They swam next to her, of course.

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On January 15, 2019, divers from One Ocean Diving and Research made a newsworthy discovery: the largest great white shark ever recorded. So, what did they do next? They swam next to her, of course.

The Associated Press reports that Ocean Ramsey and Juan Oliphant were diving off the coast of Oahu in Hawaii when they spotted the shark, along with multiple tiger sharks. The predators were attracted to the carcass of a dead sperm whale.

Based on the great white shark’s distinctive size and markings, they believe the predator is a well-known individual known as “Deep Blue.” However, this hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Credit: IFLScience

The great white shark is estimated to be 6.1 to 6.4 meters (20 to 21 feet) long, from nose to tail. Ramsey suspects the creature is pregnant due to her astonishing width. She told The Star-Advertiser, “I’m without words; it’s heartwarming; she’s probably the most gentle great white I’ve ever seen.”

Movies like Jaws have perpetuated a negative stigma about great white sharks. That’s why Oliphant and Ramsey swam next to the giant creature: to showcase how gentle sharks can be — especially great whites.

@JUANSHARKS / http://ONEOCEANDIVING.COM / @OceanRamsey

Oliphant wrote in an Instagram post: “I try hard to replace fear with scientific facts and encourage a healthy level of respect for sharks as #ApexPredatorsNotMonsters but not puppies… They are sharks and I love and respect them for what they are.”

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Words and photo by co-founder @juansharks using @aquatech_imagingsolutions ・・・ PERSPECTIVE ❤️ Deep Blue going straight to @oceanramsey If you are ever approached by a large shark, this is how you want to respond to it, swim away from it slowly to give the shark space in case it is being territorial and always keep eye contact, never turn away and act like prey. So much more that needs to be applied for diving with sharks safely, to #coexist Ocean wrote a nice disclaimer for people wanting to just jump in the water with a shark like Deep Blue. Disclaimer: I highly discourage people from jumping into the water purposely with Great #WhiteSharks and TigerSharks and all sharks should be given respect as space as wild animals and PROTECTION from wasteful killing for their important ecological role. I work daily in the water with sharks as a shark biologist and teach public and professional safety programs through @OneoceanResearch and @OneOceanDiving and through a number of our international projects which also includes #greatWhiteShark research specifically. I try hard to replace fear with scientific facts and encourage a healthy level of respect for sharks as #apexPredatorsNotMonsters but not puppies…but not monsters. They are sharks and I love and respect them for what they are. Yes I absolutely LOVE sharks and have a deep understanding and respect for their capabilities combined with well over a decade of full time experience working in-water with them.  My life mission, passion, and I think purpose is to help further conservation efforts for them through research, conservation, design, and immersive and impactful programs and outreach. Please check out all the divisions of #OneOceanDiving listed below for more information and please help us to ban #sharkfinning #sharkfishing #sharksportfishing and #sharkculling around the world. I just found out the the bill to ban the purposeful killing of sharks and rays in Hawaii will be re-introduced this year in both eh house and senate following all the positive shark press that has come from this incredible encounter in the last few days. Mahalo nui loa (thank you) to all those who support efforts for shark conservation

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#Jaws was a fictitious film whose poster kind of looks like this, so this is my effort at an Anti-Jaws type media piece @savingjawsmovie . I’ve been swimming with sharks my whole life and working professionally with them for over 15 years. There’s a challenge I have in my efforts, to find a balance between helping people to overcome their fear of sharks that often stems for fictitious demonizing media and instilling a healthy level of respect for sharks as very capable apex predators #ApexPredatorNotMonster not puppy (cause if you pet puppies often even puppies bite, actually a lot ;)). Having worked with sharks for so long I can fully appreciate what they are capable of because I have been rushed by sharks and had to deter them and I have had to leave the water and I have watched them actively predate and compete for space and have confrontations.  However, I’ve also had the most incredible moments of my life in the water with them where 99.9% of the time they cruise gracefully around and so long as I keep looking around and pay attention constantly and quietly and give respect and attention to the more dominant individuals and challenging juveniles on a CONSTANT bases I am treated as more or less an equal predator.  Never complacent, always respectful and adapting at every second to every movement. I reached the point long ago where I dedicated my life to conservation and I love it, I love educating people about sharks and introducing them to them in a professional guided situation through the program I co-founded @oneoceandiving where we also collect data @oneoceanresearch @oneoceansharks and help support conservation through @Oneoceanconservation and @OneoceanEducation and @Oneoceanglobal @Waterinspired @oneoceanhawaii and other with funds from @oneoceandesigns and diving I love studying shark behavior and body language and its an absolute pleasure to share that with people and help them to better appreciate sharks and I hope inspire them to help save them.  Check out http://HelpSaveSharks.Org for more ways to get involved. #Aloha #hawaii #greatWhiteHawaii #SaveTheOcean #ocean #discoversharks #oneoceanconservation #OneOceanDiving PHOTO CREDIT @juansharks ❤️

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Though you might disagree with Oliphant, he is correct. In any given average year, around five fatalities from sharks occur worldwide. Meanwhile, humans kill approximately 100 million to 273 million sharks every year. In fact, you are more likely to be killed by falling coconuts than by a shark. 

Of course, the predators are still dangerous. So, if you ever encounter one while diving, be sure to follow Oliphant’s advice: 

“If you are ever approached by a large shark, this is how you want to respond to it, swim away from it slowly to give the shark space in case it is being territorial and always keep eye contact, never turn away and act like prey.”

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Blue Whales Return to Spain’s Coast After Disappearing for 40 Years

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Blue whales have been returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain after an absence of over 40 years in the region, when whaling industries drove the species to the brink of extinction.

Blue whales, which are the world’s largest mammals, had long disappeared from the region until the recent sightings.

The first was spotted off the coast of Galicia near Ons Island by marine biologist Bruno Díaz, who heads the Bottlenose Dolphin Research.

Another one of the majestic creatures was spotted the following year in 2018 and yet another in 2019. In 2020, two whales again made their return to the area.

It remains unclear as of yet as to why the creatures have returned to the area, but controls on local whaling industries are believed to play a role.

“I believe the moratorium on whaling has been a key factor,” Díaz remarked, according to the Guardian. “In the 1970s, just before the ban was introduced, an entire generation of blue whales disappeared. Now, more than 40 years later, we’re seeing the return of the descendants of the few that survived.”

Whaling had been a traditional industry in Galicia for hundreds of years before Spain finally acted to ban whaling in 1986, long after the blue whale’s presence in the region had faded away.

Some fear that the return of the massive sea mammals is a sign of global warming.

“I’m pessimistic because there’s a high possibility that climate change is having a major impact on the blue whale’s habitat,” said marine biologist Alfredo López in comments to La Voz de Galicia.

“Firstly, because they never venture south of the equator, and if global warming pushes this line north, their habitat will be reduced,” he continued “And secondly, if it means the food they normally eat is disappearing, then what we’re seeing is dramatic and not something to celebrate.”

Díaz said that while the data certainly supports this theory, it is too early to determine climate as the precise cause.

“It is true that the data we have points to this trend [climate change] but it is not enough yet,” he told Público news.

Another possibility is that the ancestral memory of the old creatures or even a longing for their home may offer an explanation, according to Díaz.

“In recent years it’s been discovered that the blue whale’s migration is driven by memory, not by environmental conditions,” he said. “This year there hasn’t been a notable increase in plankton, but here they are. Experiences are retained in the collective memory and drive the species to return.”

In recent years, researchers have found that migratory patterns are also driven by the cultural knowledge existing in many groups of species.

Researchers believe this type of folk memory, or cultural knowledge, exists in many species and is key to their survival.

A typical blue whale is 20-24 metres long and weighs 120 tonnes – equivalent to 16 elephants – but specimens of up to 30 metres and 170 tonnes have been found.

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