The great white shark is one of the most mysterious and fierce marine animals in the world. After tagging a great white that biologists have endearingly named Lydia, the world was able to watch a lone shark's journey across the vast Atlantic ocean.
This weekend, Lydia was able to traverse the mid-Atlantic ridge, which is said to be a requirement for a trans-Atlantic journey. The 2,000 pound shark was tagged by an Ocearch team in an effort to learn more about the massive marine predators.
"Sharks are in peril around the world and this work is rewriting what we thought we knew about what happens to the great white shark," said Ocearch researchers in a video. "It's amazing to have this opportunity. We are really starting to learn about this species for the first time."
Ocearch is a non-profit organization dedicated to the task of gathering more information about marine predators. The organization has also been largely focusing on great white shark research. Ocearch also provides a shark tracking system that can be accessed on their official site.
Lydia started her journey in Nova Scotia, Canada and the shark followed a meandering path on her way to the UK. While great white sharks are considered a rare sight in UK waters, there have been sporadic sightings over the years. However, most of these sightings have not been backed by empirical evidence.
"I think these were anecdotal versus a documented presence," said Ocearch founder and expedition leader Chris Fischer. "So hopefully we'll be able to help with that."
The groundbreaking project may bring to light more details about the mysterious behavior of great white sharks in the wild. Lydia's journey has also elicited excited responses from the scientific community.
"#Lydia turns E toward #UK continuing first doc Trans/Atl migration n hist!" tweeted Chris Fischer, one of the scientists involved in the Ocearch project. "WhiteShark Lydia pinged in on the other side of MidAtlanticRidge! Welcome to the history books, #Lydia," added noted UK weather presenter and marine biologist Ian Fergusson.
While some scientists believe that the oceans surrounding the UK are too cold for great white sharks, Lydia's journey through cold waters may show that these large animals may have the ability to cope with colder waters for extended periods of time.
The Ocearch team monitoring the trans-Atlantic journey may also have another reason to celebrate - Lydia may actually be pregnant.
"If I had to guess, I would guess that Lydia is pregnant, and that she has been out in the open ocean gestating her babies, and that this spring she will lead us to where those baby white sharks are born - the nursery."