Incredible footage captures a great white shark COVERED in scratches and wounds


Incredible footage captures ‘the world’s most badly beaten’ great white shark COVERED in deep scratches and bites – but what caused the damage?

  • The world’s ‘most beaten’ great white shark was filmed in South Australia
  • The incredible footage shows the animal covered in scratches and wounds
  • Experts say they have never seen a shark in this poor condition before
  • Figures from 2018 show there are only 5,500 great whites left in east Australia


This is the jaw-dropping moment the world’s ‘most battered’ great white shark was captured by an underwater cinematographer in southern Australia. 

In footage shared online, the 9.8-foot creature can be seen calmly swimming towards Dean Spraakman, who was filming deep in the waters near Neptune Islands. 

As the beast swims past, dozens of scratches, scars and wounds can be seen along its fins, gills, mouth and body.

The one-and-a-half minute clip, uploaded to the Sea Dragon Films YouTube channel, shows deep scratches and bite marks on every part of the creature – although the majority of the markings mysteriously appear to be on its right side.

Footage has emerged of possibly the ‘world’s most beaten’ great white shark of the coast of South Australia, near the Neptune Islands

Mr Spraakman said he has never seen a great white in such a poor condition, adding: ‘He is a beautiful shark that has survived some tough times.’

He said while he originally thought the marine creature was in a lot of pain, it was actually extremely calm and gentle in its demeanour. 

Replying to comments on his YouTube video, Mr Spraakman said his ‘best guess’ for the cause of the wounds was either a large boat propeller or a large tuna pen, which great whites and other animals are known to get stuck in. 

He added: ‘However I did notice during some of his close passes while filming that there seemed to be old, new and newer scars that are similar. 

‘Unfortunately I doubt we will ever know for sure what has caused these wounds.’

He added that others believe the scars could come from the shark scraping against the reef. 

Others believe they could stem from nasty interactions with Sting Rays. 

‘They are certainly not from Orca or mating,’ added Mr Spraakman.   

The videographer filmed the encounter in January but the footage has gone viral on social media this week. 

It shows the shark swimming alongside other small fish and also reveals how its skin is worn away in places, while bite marks are visible on its flank.

While Mr Spraakman’s team suspected boat propellers might be the cause of the injuries, other experts suggest that the damage was the result of scrapping with other sharks. 

The shark is covered in scratches and wounds, which often are a result of hunting or scraps with other sharks

The shark is covered in scratches and wounds, which often are a result of hunting or scraps with other sharks

National Geographic explorer Professor Yannis Papastamatiou said the large male shark looked to have been in a few fights.

‘Females are often heavily scarred from mating behaviour, but males can get bitten as well during dominance interactions between sharks… like a larger shark may want a smaller shark and dominate the smaller individual with a non-fatal warning bite,’ he said. 

Some of the unique scars around its face could also have been caused by the shark’s prey; seals. 

Great white sharks are the largest-known predatory fish in the world with its thin torpedo-shaped body allows them to reach underwater swimming speeds of 56km/h in short bursts.

Based on CSIRO figures from 2018, there are only 5,500 great whites left on Australia’s eastern coast line.   

‘White sharks live in coastal, shelf, and continental slope waters around Australia from the Montebello Islands in north-western Western Australia, south around the coast to at least as far north as central Queensland including Tasmanian waters,’ CSIRO research said. 

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