While cruising around Mexico"s Guadalupe Island, underwater cinematographer Erick Higuera recently regulated to capture one more pooping feat courtesy of a great white shark. Higuera and his colleagues encountered the animal while filming a blue-water dive in the self-propelled shark cage "Pelagic Explorer" (free-swimming with good whites is illegal in Guadalupe). "You never understand what surprises can have for you!" he wrote on Instagram.

You are watching: What does shark poop look like

Find out more about white shark poop clouds – and also the factor behind that human body contortion! – in the original short article below.

A article shared by Underwater Cinematographer (
erick.higuera) ~ above Mar 7, 2017 in ~ 1:03pm PST


Aah, the ocean ... An limitless treasure trove that wonder. Each adventure in that "big blue" hold the sweet promise of brand-new discovery. Most recently, for instance, we learned that great white sharks execute this when they poop:


While diving turn off the coastline of Mexico"s Guadalupe Island, the crew board the Nautilus Explorer witnessed great white shark celebrity "Lucy" releasing some majestic egesta. Underwater faecal tornadoes are miscellaneous we"ve saw before, however this unique view enables us to see the complete body spasm that"s triggered when a mammoth shark prefer Lucy requirements to lighten her load. 

It"s precious noting that, have to you find yourself in a comparable situation (one for the proverbial bucket list?), screaming is not the finest response, for noticeable reasons.

We confirm in v predator-prey ecologist Michelle Jewell, who"s done extensive research on great whites, to discover out much more about the mouth-gaping manoeuvre you see in the video. If she admits she hasn"t seen sufficient top-predator defecation to qualify as an "ordure oracle", she does sell a likely, and also pretty simple, explanation.

"I reckon they open up their mouths because that the same factor we grin – the plot of "pushing" provides us carry out weird things with our faces," she explains. "Big sharks like Lucy have to make fairly an up-down s-shape of their bodies come facilitate faeces flow, so maybe the jaw opening up is simply a spandrel of this body movement." 

That movement looks so the end of character due to the fact that unlike dolphins, which employ the standard "mermaid-style" stroke, sharks swim using lateral (side-to-side) tail movement.

So there you have actually it folks. Even for 16-foot (4.8 metre) great whites, successfully excreting waste can take a bit of effort.

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A billowing cloud the shark poop can be a scientific gold mine, together it holds chemical clues about what the animal has been eating, its stress levels and even whereby it hails from. Because great white sharks are extremely migratory, this information is invaluable, and also tough come obtain. 

But shark poop isn"t just interesting for scientists and also divers. Together you deserve to see in the video clip below, fish and also other marine life frequently feed on these green plumes. Upon exiting, top-predator waste still consists of enough carbon to be a nutritious (albeit unsavoury) snack.