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They grow to weight more than 20 tons. They’re about two-dozen feet long and they’re part of the shark family. But the biggest shark on planet earth (that scientists know about), poses about as much a threat to you as any other gentle giant. The whale shark is certainly a sight to behold. They’re as big as a bus and live to be about 70 years old in the wild. Unlike other sharks, the whale shark is a filter feeder. That means it eats small sea creatures that get into its wide mouth while it is swimming around the sea. In the footage below, you’ll see the shocking moment a diver caught something truly extraordinary on camera. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the diver in this video. And he comes face-to-face with the largest shark in the ocean. Check out this clip now!
Although the averages I mentioned above are the most common sizes of whale sharks, they get much bigger than a city bus. The largest one ever seen was 41 feet long and weighed a whopping 47,000 pounds.
If you’re actively searching for whale sharks, you better travel to the tropical parts of the globe. The largest fish species on the planet likes warm waters because that’s where they get full meals.
Their mouth is their most startling feature – it is huge. But it isn’t armed with the razor-sharp teeth that most other shark species are known for. Instead, the whale shark’s large mouth (which is about 4 feet wide) allows it to eat all the time while it is swimming. They’re favorite foods are small squid, fish eggs, fish, krill and all kinds of plankton.
The diver in this clip couldn’t believe how lucky he was. When the diver first sees the biggest fish in the ocean, it is already so close to him. Then it gets within feet of the diver and does something never caught on camera before. The whale shark starts playing with the diver.
As you’ll see when you press play, the diver is directly above the shark and the fish keeps opening and closing its large mouth. It is excited to have someone to play with and keeps going at it like a little puppy. Not only was it playful, this whale shark was eating vertically!
The video was originally uploaded to Instagram by Silver Shark Adventures. Here is the caption they shared with the awesome clip: “Arguably my all time best whale shark encounter just happened here in Bahía. Swimming alongside @lexiselias observing completely vertical whale sharks feeding on a soup of plankton.”
The whale shark is the world’s biggest fish. The basking shark, which is the second biggest, also filter feeds on similar foodstuffs.
The whale shark filters everything in its path thought to use a technique called “cross-flow filtration.” It is similar to how bony fish and baleen whales do it.
Watch the video below to see the large shark playing with the diver. Would you like to get that close to a whale shark?
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