According to experts, Deep Blue is a giant female shark and is easily recognisable by a series of scars on her back.

SHARKS have intrigued the public and scientists for decades, but a huge 23-foot-long great white might top the bill as the largest of its kind – and it’s still lurking in the depths of the oceans.

Made famous following Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ thriller, the great white is a species renowned for its daunting size, with some growing up to 20 feet in length – but most are much smaller, with females averaging around 15 to 16 feet and males between 11 and 13 feet. In the Hollywood thriller, Police Chief Martin Brody remarks “you’re going to need a bigger boat” after catching a glimpse of the giant monster in the deep. But, a shark that still inhabits the world’s oceans today named ‘Deep Blue’ would dwarf most fishing boats.

The specimen was first spotted six years ago, near Guadalupe Island, off the Mexican peninsula of Baja and is reportedly close to 23 feet long.

According to experts, Deep Blue is a female and is easily recognisable by a series of scars on her back.

In 2014, experts tagged the beast to carry-out further research on her movements, estimating that the enormous predator is up to 50 years old and weighs more than two-and-a-half tonnes.

Deep Blue was spotted again in 2019 – this time in Hawaii – and divers including Juan Oliphant and marine biologist Ocean Ramsey jumped in the water to capture some amazing snaps.

Posting on Instagram shortly after the swim, Mr Oliphant wrote: “Face to face with the world’s largest great white ever recorded ‘Deep Blue’.

“I’m still in shock that we spent almost the whole day with this amazing animal in my backyard.

“I hope my conservation images like this help people to question their perceptions and realise the beauty, and importance of sharks.

“I hope they inspire the kind of compassion and connection we need to have with nature and sharks, to help protect them and coexist alongside them.”

Another diver who swam with Deep Blue, Kimberly Jeffries, added: “If you asked me a few days ago what the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in Hawaiian waters the answer probably would be pretty different.

“If you asked me yesterday the answer would be free-diving with Deep Blue, a great white, the largest ever documented, who was last seen in 2013 in Mexico.

“If you asked me right now, it would be free-diving with, interacting with and photographing not one but multiple, different great whites and Deep Blue.”

Deep Blue got her name from Discovery Channel diver Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, who swam with the creature as part of a Shark Week documentary in 2014.

Great whites have a life expectancy of around 70 years and are one of the biggest predators of the ocean.

But the largest shark specimen that has ever lived was the Megalodon.

The extinct prehistoric predator grew up to 60 feet and swam the world’s ocean approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago.

The Megalodon was one of the most powerful predators to have ever inhabited the Earth and belonged to a family that diverged from the great white – the Otodontidae.

The article is originally published at Express.