WEIRD NEWS
08/12/2015 05:23 pm ET Updated Aug 14, 2015

This Is Deep Blue, Probably The Biggest Shark You've Ever Seen

Large enough to give the shark from "Jaws" nightmares.

She's estimated to be around 20 feet long, as wide as a small elephant -- which likely indicates pregnancy -- and at least 50 years old.

Her name is Deep Blue, and she's one of the biggest sharks ever filmed, according to Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, director-general of the nonprofit marine research organization Pelagios-Kakunjá

Hoyos Padilla posted the above footage of the great white shark, taken off the western coast of Mexico, to his Facebook page on Monday. It's a follow-up to the first video he shared in June, in which he reaches out to give Deep Blue's pectoral fin a push:

The footage actually dates back to November of 2013 but was only recently shared with the public, said James Ketchum, the director of marine conservation at Pelagios Kakunjá.

"What Deep Blue gives us is hope that protection and conservation efforts seem to be working," Ketchum wrote in an email to The Huffington Post, explaining the significance of the encounter. "A shark getting to this enormous size means that the older the female, the more offspring [she] has produced throughout her life. Deep Blue may have given birth to close to two hundred pups."

Deep Blue first captured the public's attention during last year's Shark Week programming on the Discovery Channel, where she made her debut:

While Deep Blue's size may be impressive, that doesn't necessarily make her more interesting to researchers than smaller great whites, George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, told The Huffington Post.

"Actually, very small [great] whites may be the holy grail as we know very little about their pupping and nursery grounds," Burgess explained. "That said, tagged large whites make the longest journeys and get the biggest media attention."

Burgess also added some healthy skepticism to the accuracy of sizing up sharks in the wild.

"Assuming [Deep Blue] was 'measured' the same way as the [shark featured during Shark Week], it is at best a rough estimate of length," he cautioned. "Considering the first one was apparently overestimated, the purported length of the second must be considered suspect."

For more on Deep Blue, including the various conservation efforts undertaken in the Mexican Pacific and the threats sharks face in the area, click through Hoyos Padilla's slideshow, below:

This article has been updated to include comments from James Ketchum and with confirmation that Deep Blue was featured during Shark Week.  

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