TIME animals

Researchers Search for ‘Mystery Sea Monster’ That Devoured Great White Shark

Scientists are baffled by what exactly it was that consumed a 9-foot great white

Shark attacks suddenly seem less scary.

When a 9 ft. long great white shark’s tracker washed up on a beach, scientists found that the data indicated that the shark underwent a 30-degree spike and a rapid 1,900 ft. dive. The temperature increase and underwater descent indicate that the shark had entered a larger animal’s digestive tract.

“When I was first told about the data that came back from the tag that was on the shark, I was absolutely blown away,” said filmmaker David Riggs in the Smithsonian’s Hunt for the Super Predator, which documents Australia’s first large scale great white tagging project. “What could kill a 3 m. great white?”

The documentary, which airs in the U.S. on June 25, chronicles the researchers’ attempt to understand what exactly happened to Alpha, the unlucky shark who had “a real swagger,” Riggs recalled.

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