A massive, half-ton shark has been swimming up and down the East Coast and was most recently tracked to the coast of North Carolina.
The shark, which has been named Ironbound, is a 20-year-old great white shark that stretches 12 feet long and weighs around 1,000 pounds, per ABC 11. Its tracker pinged near Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Tuesday (May 10), two weeks after the same shark was being tracked near New Jersey.
While its size may be notable, researchers actually say it's the shark's temper that sets it apart from others of its kind.
"That's what struck us with Ironbound," said Chris Fischer, founder of the Ocearch shark tracker. "It wasn't really his size. He was just a very determined animal to deal with. He was very bit up from other large sharks he'd been tangling with."
According to the news outlet, great white sharks tend to swim farther south for the winter to find warm waters while the migrate north during the summer for its hunting grounds. Given that Ironbound has been spotted all along the coast, its likely the water up north was still a bit too cold.
Fischer said sharks get a bad rap, especially with movies that make them the villain. By tagging sharks like Ironbound and Mary Lee, who he credits for helping change the perception of the apex predators, people can learn that shark attacks are not as common as Hollywood makes them seem. In 2021, there were only 73 unprovoked shark attacks in the entire world.
"I think she did more to undo what Jaws has done than any other shark in the world, because people started to realize that they're swimming all around us," he said, "if they thrive we thrive and appreciated them more like lions."