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Meet Some Legendary Sharks

1 Deep Blue

This 20-foot female is one of the biggest great whites ever filmed. Estimated to be in her 50s, Deep Blue bears scars on her left flank, likely the result of fights with other sharks or from mating partners. She’s been known to spend time in the waters near Guadalupe Island, off the coast of Mexico's Baja California.

2 Old Hitler

Since WWII, a massive hammerhead -- in excess of 20 feet and 2,000 pounds -- has lurked in the Gulf of Mexico between Everglades City and Tampa Bay. Or so legend has it. Covered with battle scars from propellers, harpoons, fish hooks and even a machete (!), Old Hitler, as he’s called, has terrorized the region for nearly 70 years, bumping boats and stealing commercially caught fish from nets.

3 Colossus

Colossus is a 3,000-pound great white first captured on film in 2012 by Jeff Kurr at Seal Island, South Africa, during a very close encounter. Distinguished by his notched dorsal fin, Colossus has become infamous for his size and beautiful aerial breaches.

Originally estimated to be 14 feet long, the shark is likely more than 16 feet now.

4 The Cuban/El Monstruo

In 1945, six fishermen on their daily search for fish caught a white shark near the fishing village of Cojimar, Cuba, in the Gulf of Mexico. The shark measured more than 21 feet long and weighed some 7,000 pounds, which would make it the largest great white shark on record … if scientists agreed that the measurements were accurate. Which they don’t. But while its exact size may be in question, what isn’t is that El Monstruo was truly a giant worthy of his name.

5 PEI Shark

At 20 feet in length, the Prince Edward Island shark (PEI) is one of the largest accurately measured great whites on record. Unfortunately, in 1983 PEI became fatally caught in the net of 22-year-old Canadian fisherman David McKendrick, who thought he’d nabbed an oversized bluefin tuna. At the time of her death the PEI shark was 20 years old and had the potential to grow even larger.

6 Slash

Meet Slash, a 16-foot great white with a “bad attitude” that hunts the waters of New Zealand. Featured in 2013’s “Great White Serial Killer,” Slash is named for the scar on the left side of his face, likely the result of an unsuccessful tagging attempt by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) -- and potentially the cause of his infamous grumpiness.

Sharkopedia : Legendary Sharks |

Video

Say Hello to Deep Blue

This 20-foot-plus and heavily pregnant female, featured in Shark Week 2014's "Jaws of the Deep," is one of the biggest great whites ever filmed.

Sharkopedia : Legendary Sharks |

Did You Know?

Sharks Played Important Roles in Ancient Folklore

Sharks are mysterious, fearsome and common … and for that reason, they have not only a prominent place in pop culture, but in ancient folklore as well. But you won't find two more disparate representations of sharks than in Hawaiian and Greek mythologies.

Sharks are particularly prevalent in Hawaii’s mythology -- not surprising when you consider that there are approximately 40 species swimming in its waters, ranging from the 8-inch pygmy shark to the 50-foot whale shark. As the rulers of the ocean, sharks were worshiped, cared for and protected by early Hawaiians. Why protected? Because it was believed that a deceased ancestor would take the form of an animal -- often a shark -- that would then intervene to save his or her descendants from harm. Hawaiians would feed and protect a shark that they believed to be a relative; in turn, the shark would protect the family.

One such Hawaiian shark god is the much-respected Kamohoali'i, who swam in the deep waters around Maui. Kamohoali'i was known for his ability to take on both human and fish forms, but also for guiding ships that were lost at sea back home. He just needed to be fed awa, a potion made from bitter roots. Not a bad reputation for a shark!

In contrast to the rather kind Kamohoali'i is the Greek shark god Lamia. Lamia was the daughter of Poseidon, god of the sea, as well as a mistress of Zeus, ruler of the Olympian gods. As the story goes, when Zeus’ wife Hera heard of the affair, she stole away Lamia’s two children, driving Lamia to insanity from grief. But Lamia had the last laugh. Turned into a sea monster, she proceeded to devour other people's children as revenge for her own.

Given that the Mediterranean is home to more than 47 different species, sharks must have been a common sight for the ancient Greeks. Add to that the fact that about a third of those species are BIG, too -- 9 feet or larger, which would have been scary to a civilization still struggling to understand the world. But while Greece does have the most unprovoked shark attacks of any European country, there have been only 14 confirmed attacks ... since 1847. So perhaps Lamia's reputation was a BIT exaggerated.

Sharkopedia : Legendary Sharks |

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Legendary Sharks