Giant Wreckfish Seen Swallowing Shark in Rare Deep-Sea Footage

NOAA researchers in pursuit of a World War II shipwreck have had to settle for observing a “once-in-a-lifetime event.”

The NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research team was using a remotely operated vehicle to explore 1,500 feet below the surface of the ocean off South Carolina when it spotted a shark feeding frenzy, per CNN.

The sight of at least 11 sharks—specifically, two species of dogfish not typically observed in groups—feeding on the carcass of an 8-foot-long swordfish was neat enough. “This is so rare to be able to see something like this,” a researcher says over live video footage.

Then, “Oh, my gosh!” Suddenly, a wreckfish, a large grouper, emerges from behind the ROV and attacks a shark, completely swallowing its head.

The grouper, seemingly unable to feed on the swordfish, “demonstrated the ability of large predatory fishes to feed on smaller sharks” in this “rare and startling event,” writes researcher Peter Auster. Wreckfish can grow more than 6 feet long and weigh up to 220 pounds.

Still, Auster says the sighting “leaves us with more questions than answers, but such is the nature of scientific exploration.” Meanwhile, the search continues for the SS Bloody Marsh, a US oil tanker sunk by a German U-boat on July 2, 1943.

The wreck is one of 87 identified by the NOAA as a potential pollution threat. The six-week expedition to find it wraps Friday.

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Posted by on July 11, 2019. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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2 Responses to Giant Wreckfish Seen Swallowing Shark in Rare Deep-Sea Footage

  1. Glenn Geist Reply

    July 11, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Most restaurants around here all offer Grouper and it’s a favorite of mine, but there are many fish included in the category that aren’t even related. I’ve heard there are some in the Pacific that weigh in at over a half ton. I don’t swim in the ocean any more, by the way.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      July 11, 2019 at 10:24 am

      Glenn, a lot of people do not know that Groupers are actually considered predatory fish. Way back in the 1950’s my grandfather was Captain on what was called “Party boats” in Destin. That simply meant it was a boat filled with tourists who paid a fee just to go out into the gulf and fish, usually with hand lines. The largest Grouper I ever saw weighed in at a little over 350 lbs. It took the tourist and two deck hands to get it to the surface and two more to get him into the boat. I was only about 11 or 12 and I could still my head inside its mouth without touching the inside of the mouth. That was really cool watching that one that one eating the shark. I am also a big fan of eating Grouper myself.

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