The oceans of the deep hide many incredible creatures, and researchers have discovered a new one. This so-called "Queen of the Sharks," known as Nukumi by the researchers who found, tagged, and released her, is a massive three and a half ton Great White shark discovered off the coast of Nova Scotia. The name Nukumi comes from “the legendary wise old grandmother figure” of the Indigenous Mi'kmaq people, a First Nations group native to that region of Canada. This discovery will help researchers learn a great deal about sharks and their roots in the history of the planet.
Chris Fischer, the OCEARCH expedition leader, called Nukumi a “proper Queen of the Ocean” in a video log posted Saturday.
“She’s probably 50-years-old and certainly her first litters of pups she would have been having 30 years ago are also making babies, really humbling to stand next to a large animal like that,” Fischer said. “When you look at all the healed-over scars and blotches and things that are on her skin, you’re really looking at the story of her life and it makes you feel really insignificant.”
Great White Sharks are among the oldest animal species int he world and can live up to 60 years. Fossils of a creature believed to be the ancestor of the great white shark, Megalodon, is estimated to have lived more than 20 million years ago. This particular group tracked by OCEARCH includes nine other sharks that the group has been able to follow in the months long expedition.