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The 10 Largest Sharks In The World

Even if most of these guys are pretty tame, I still wouldn't want to mess with any of 'em. Not only are these sharks bigger than you, but they have some of the most intimidating names around.

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8. Thresher Shark

Scientific name: Alopias vulpinus

Largest recorded: 20ft, 1100lbs

Danger to humans: very little, though divers have been injured by its huge tail

Other facts: one of the only sharks that will fully breach the water's surface, like dolphins

7. Great Hammerhead Shark

Scientific name: Sphyma mokarran

Largest recorded: 20ft, 1280lbs

Danger to humans: supposedly the most aggressive of hammerheads, aided by its large size and sharp teeth, but actual encounters are rare


5. Pacific Sleeper Shark

Scientific name: Somniosus pacificus

Largest recorded: 23ft, 800lbs

Danger to humans: none

Other facts: sleeper sharks and the Sperm Whale are the only two creatures that feed on full-size giant and colossal squid (which can grow up to 46ft long)

4. Tiger Shark

Scientific name: Galeocerdo cuvier

Largest recorded: 25ft, 6900lbs

Danger to humans: very high, second only to the great white shark in total number of attacks on humans, as they hang out in shallow reefs, harbors, and canals

Other facts: considered sacred by some native Hawaiians, who believe its eyes have the ability to see more than just what's immediately around them

3. Great White Shark

Scientific name: Carcharodon carcharias

Largest recorded: 26.2ft, 5000lbs

Danger to humans: very high, like the tiger shark, great whites are an apex predator that will eat 'almost anything,' and have the highest recorded number of fatal attacks on humans, despite that they are not the great whites' preferred diet

Other facts: fear of these sharks was relatively low until the release of Jaws

2. Basking Shark

Scientific name: Cetorhinus maximus

Largest recorded: 40ft, 38,000lbs

Danger to humans: none, basking sharks are filter feeders and are friendly and curious about humans; a divers' favorite

Other facts: called the 'basking' shark because, though they winter in deep waters, during warmer months they feed at the surface at the warmest areas

1. Whale Shark

Scientific name: Rhincodon typus

Largest recorded: 41.5ft, 47,000lbs / 75ft, 79,000lbs (unconfirmed)

Danger to humans: none, like the basking shark they are friendly toward humans and have allowed divers to hitch rides on their fins

Other facts: whale sharks are a deity in Vietnamese culture, known as 'Ca Ong,' or 'Sir Fish.' In Kenya, they are named 'papa shillingi,' under the myth that God threw shillings upon the sharks, creating their spots