Mary Lee gets around.
Last month, the great white shark entered the surf zone in Jacksonville, Fla., causing a stir. Now, the 16-foot, nearly 3,500-pound shark has entered waters where legend meets reality.
The Long Island, N.Y., coast -- the fictional town of Amity to be exact -- served as the setting for "Jaws," the blockbuster book that spawned a 1975 movie about a great white on a killing spree. On Wednesday, the region served as the very real Mary Lee's personal swimming hole.
Ocearch, the shark-research nonprofit tracking Mary Lee's migration with a GPS device, received a ping that she was lurking 20 miles off East Hampton. Officials then found her "40 to 45 nautical miles off Montauk Point" by Wednesday afternoon, AOL's Southampton Patch reports. Coast Guard Petty Officer Patrick Rogers told Patch that Mary Lee was the first great white he had encountered in the area.
Given that Mary Lee was too far away to pose a threat, outlets had fun with the sighting.
"Dah-dum. Dah-dum," MSN wrote in sounding the first two notes of the "Jaws" score. The International Business Times, recalling a famous line from the Steven Spielberg film(tailored to its Martha's Vineyard shooting location), quipped, "Hopefully swimmers won’t have to worry about getting 'a bigger boat.' "
In mid-January, Mary Lee's presence provoked more urgency. Ocearch chairman Chris Fischer, whose team had tagged Mary Lee off the Cape Cod coast in September, phoned local Jacksonville, Fla., police when the shark emitted a signal that she was just 200 yards offshore.
His message to authorities: Make sure people stay the heck out of the water until she leaves.
Ocearch is hoping Mary Lee's travels will enable it to better understand the great white's biology and migratory patterns, while stopping the "significant declines in shark populations," according to its website.
Want to know where Mary Lee is right now? Check out the Mary Lee tracker at Ocearch's Facebook page.
Watch the video below for more shots of Mary Lee.