GREAT white sharks are known for being the most terrifying species to roam the seas – made infamous by classic horror flick Jaws.
But are they lurking in British waters and how often do they attack? Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the largest ever great white shark to be recorded?
On average, female great whites are 4.6 to 4.9m long, although the male sharks don’t grow as big, measuring up at around 3.4 to 4.0m.
Alf Dean caught the largest great white recorded by the International Game Fish Association in the south Australian waters in 1959.
The sea predator weighed a staggering 1,208 kg (2,663 lb).
It’s believed that anglers have since caught bigger sharks, but these have not been officially confirmed.
How fast can the great white shark swim?
The powerful oceanic beast can reach speeds of around 25 miles per hour.
To put this in perspective, it’s around 20 miles quicker than world-record setting times for human swimmers.
If that didn’t make the great white a difficult enough opponent, the shark also has the ability to propel themselves more than three metres into the air.
How rare are shark attacks and how dangerous is the great white?
Every year, around 70 shark attacks are reported worldwide – and only a fraction of these are fatal.
Given that there are more than 480 different species, this is a relatively small number.
Only three sharks are considered to carry out unprovoked attacks on humans: the great white, tiger shark and bull shark.
The Florida Museum of Natural History created a list of the shark species that have attacked humans the most, dating back to 1580.
According to the list, there have been 80 fatal incidents involving great whites.
Have great whites ever been seen off the coast of Britain?
A shark expert claims that a deadly great white is lurking off some of our most popular beaches – and could attack at any moment.
Graeme Pullen says he has been pursuing the man-eater off the south coast for the past two years.
But the fishing journalist has now gone public with his fears because he feels Brit beach-goers need to be warned.
He claims the blood-thirsty killer has been sighted repeatedly off Hayling Island, Hants, for two years where it has been returning to rich hunting grounds and feeding on seals and bass in water only feet deep.
The latest threat to British bathers comes after an eight-foot shark was spotted off a Majorcan beach, sending hundreds of holidaymakers running from the sea.
Despite this, while some UK fisherman claimed to have spotted great whites, none of these sightings have been officially confirmed.
As the sharks prefer warm waters, it’s unlikely that you’d find them along the British coastline.
The great white can more commonly be found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.
Most Read in Science
How big is a great white shark, what’s the largest one, are they in the UK and how dangerous are they really?