Horror moment great white shark tears apart whale THREE TIMES its size

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THIS is the horror moment a 13ft great white shark tears into a humpback whale THREE TIMES its size in a savage attack.

The underwater beast, known as Helen, managed to ambush the unsuspecting whale in waters just off the coast of South Africa.


The fearless great white shark took a chunk out of the unsuspecting whale’s tailCredit: National Geographic/Earth Touch


The predator let the humpback bleed out and weaken before finishing him offCredit: National Geographic/Earth Touch

Incredible drone footage filmed by marine biologist Ryan Johnson captured the “strategic kill” in July 2020.

He suggested the shark was a sophisticated predator, unintimidated by its opponent’s power or size.

Helen killed her prey in roughly 50 minutes after severing an artery on the whale’s tail before going for the head and drowning it.

The humpback is believed to have been in ill health after becoming trapped in a net.

It was the first time a great white shark had been filmed killing the species.

Ryan, a research coordinator for Blue Wilderness Research, told The Times: “The shark was very strategic about it, there was no hesitation, it was as if she knew exactly how to go about it.

“The first strike was at the whale’s tail, the skinny part above the flukes where she could get her mouth all the way around.

“She managed to open a vein and blood immediately started pluming out.”

The attack occurred in February when the whale had been isolated for several months and was trapped in a discarded fishing rope.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) were informed about the humpback’s predicament before Ryan headed down to assess the situation.

After the great white’s initial strike, the 13ft beast tactically “backed off” and watched her prey deteriorate.

Helen relaunched her attack 30 minutes later as the whale became weaker, before pulling it under the water.

Ryan explained: “She started going for the head and managed to latch on. Even though she was a fraction of his weight, she was attempting to roll him over, pulling him down to get his blow hole under the water, apparently in an effort to drown him.”

The ocean expert revealed he had to change his drone’s battery six times during the lengthy attack.


Credit: Not known, clear with picture desk

He added: “She managed to weigh him down under the water and he just didn’t come up again.

“Helen looked very informed about what she was doing, which made me curious about whether she was an experienced whale killer, was acting on instinct or on plain intelligence by detecting her prey was weak.”

The ruthless great white shark was named Helen by marine researchers left in awe of her abilities.

One of Helen’s regular hunting grounds has traditionally been False Bay in Cape Town but she has avoided it for the last few years.

Her species is feared thanks to their large size, terrifying teeth and stealthiness, which proves a deadly combination for their prey.

But Ryan believes the humpback’s circumstances played a pivotal role in the shark’s successful bid for supper.

He added: “From everything I found, this was really the first verified report of a shark successfully killing a live whale.

“I think this behaviour is very rare and requires a number of aspects to all come together to be possible.

“A weak whale passing through a great white hot spot, and then a large and confident great white encountering it.”


The shark’s fatal attack was captured by marine biologist Ryan JohnsonCredit: National Geographic/Earth Touch

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