Admit it. You watched Jaws as a little kid against the “advice” of your parents, shat the bed, and like some kind of weird Sea World PTSD, saw sharks everywhere for months. Under your bed, in your closet, in the bathtub, in your cereal.
Eventually it wore off, but for a long time, you thought that sharks were prehistorically ginormous a-holes searching night and day for legs dangling off rafts so that they could get a quick hit of human meat pie.
Of course, sharks don’t really attack humans all that often, and aren’t really the blood-thirsty Satan worshippers Jaws made them out to be. What’s more, they’re usually not as big as you were afraid they are.
But sometimes they’re bigger.
With Shark Week right around the corner, we’re looking at the 5 biggest sharks ever recorded. Check them out below!
The Land’s End Thresher
Across the pond back in 2007, a humble fisherman named Roger Nowell (read: the most Britishy name ever) netted a record-breaking thresher shark which measured at 32 feet and over 1,200 pounds. The thing was sold at auction and Nowell was as polite as is stereotypically British when asked about how he took down the beast. He probably left out all of the wanker’s and bollixes repeatedly cursed into the sky as he was reeling the monster in.
In 1945, the humble citizens of Cojimar, Cuba, a fishing village east of Havana, were minding their own business when a white shark the size of the Oscar Wienermobile was caught and dragged into the village by fishermen who were presumably like, “quick, grab the selfie stick!”
“El Monstruo,” which, using the context clues given so far, you should be able to translate, was 21 feet long and weighed over 7,000 pounds, making it easily the biggest damn shark ever recorded.
Some experts debate the veracity of El Monstruo’s measurements. Since the villagers presumably had a shark steak fiesta immediately after snapping their photos, we have to pretty much take their word on those measurements, and fishermen are stereotypical exaggerators.
Still, those guys probably never bought their own drinks again in their lives.
The Phillip Island Great White
While he’s not quite El Monstruo, the Phillip Island Great White is at least on record as one of the biggest fish ever caught, and possibly the biggest shark ever caught. Weighing in at over 5,000 pounds and over 21 feet long, this nightmare creature is the stuff of legend, or possibly some kind of shark god summoned by a cult of lesser tiger sharks to take back the sea from the surface dwellers. Whatever its origins, it was a blood-thirsty beast through and through — when they opened him up, an entire seal, eaten whole, was found in his stomach.
Holy F***ing Hammerhead, Batman/h5>
In case bath salts and alligators weren’t enough, huge sharks being caught off the coast of Florida is undoubtedly the thing that will keep you from ever going there. Adding to the list is a 1,280 pound hammerhead caught in Boca Grande Pass, caught in 2006 by vigilante Clyde “Bucky” Dennis. Sharks have a habit of eating hooked tarpon, which doesn’t have to mean anything to you, just know that they are very annoying to fishermen.
One day, Bucky looked out over the injustice of eaten tarpon and vowed “no more.” He set out to find the offender and returned with the 14-foot hammerhead. How does it go? “Not the hero we need right now, but the one we deserve?” In any case, mysteriously unaddressed in Bucky’s interview — how he made room in his boat for both the shark and his balls.
In St. Petersburg, Florida back in 2007, Frank Maloney was fishing behind his house when he hooked something so big, he had to scream for help so as not to become the most obvious Jaws victim ever. Two friends arrived to lend him aid, and after hours of exhausting struggle, they reeled in their catch — a bull shark nearly 9 feet long and 700 pounds.
This would have been the record, but when Maloney called it in, people presumably laughed and hung up on him in disbelief. No sweat. Maloney kept the jaws and just dumped the rest back into the ocean, missing the record but at least saving an intimidating memento.