Sea Life

Are Great White Sharks Aggressive?

are great white shark aggressive

Sharks are one of the most terrifying creatures on the planet and out of 400 species of Shark, only 20 are large enough to pose any threat to humans. The Great White Sharks are one of the most aggressive and feared shark species on the planet with a length of 20 feet and weight of 500 pounds. It is the largest predatory fish and is present at the top of the marine food chain. The Great White Sharks are anything but mindless killers; they have created the shark-o-phobia in our minds.

The Great White Sharks are curious hunters and known for their terrifying appearance. They are the cruelest shark species and the ones that attack the people most. Let’s explore the magnificent predator of the marine world, the Great White Shark in detail.

What Are Great White Sharks?

The big Shark species with a clean white belly and underside is generally called a Great White Shark, white pointer, or great white. It is the largest predatory fish in the world and is a species of large mackerel Shark from the Lamnidae family (partially warm-blooded shark family). It is the only living species of the genus Carcharodon.

The Great White Shark has a bullet-shaped body, and the skin of these species is gray in color and has white bellies. At birth, they are already 6 feet long. This shark has seven rows of 2.5-inch-long teeth and in total, it has 300 teeth; yet they do not chew the food and swallow them the whole. They live in the temperate water of oceans. 

The Great White Sharks are the apex predators meaning they have no natural predators when these species become adult. They are also important marine animals as all the marine animals rest on their shoulders.

Scientific Name: Carcharodon carcharias

Diet: Fish, Sea lions, Seals, Dolphins

Life Span: 70+ Years

Size: Up to 20 feet long

Weight: Up to 4500 pounds

Habitat: Live in temperate seas around the world

Are Great White Sharks Aggressive?

Yes, Great White Sharks are the most aggressive shark species worldwide. They are aggressive and territorial solitary hunters that migrate over long distances for food. These sharks are known for their aggression and fatal attacks on humans. The temperament of these sharks can be matched by their looks.

These highly intelligent and curious nature sharks breach the water circle around their prey before attacking. They enjoy ambushing their victim with their distinctive attacking style. They use powerful thrust and bite force to attack the prey. The Great White Sharks have 24 teeth in the upper jaw and 26 bottom teeth. 

Do White Sharks Attack Humans?

Yes, unlike hammerhead sharks the Great White Sharks are aggressive towards humans but they are not the killing machines. Humans are not on their natural diet, so they are not dangerous to humans. However, they attack humans due to their inquisitive nature. They spot and attack the human from the bottom and might not be able to differentiate the human from their favorite food seal. These species have more fear of humans than do sharks.

The Great White Sharks are responsible for the highest number of unprovoked human attacks. The recorded attacks of Great White Shark on humans are approximately 333, and 52 are fatal. They are responsible for about ⅓ to ½ attacks out of 100 shark attacks per year. 

The following are the behaviors of Great White Shark that might explain their attack on humans:

  • They have an inquisitive nature; they investigate strange objects.
  • The Great White Shark is the most territorial shark species. They attack to defend their territory.
  • It is the largest predatory shark; it causes the most damage when it is angry.
  • They attack humans on mistaken identity as humans closely resemble Seals.

Are Great White Sharks Dangerous?

The Great White Sharks are dangerous but not as much as you think. Despite the enormous size and threatening appearance, humans are not on their menu. They do not go out of the way to locate people. They are carnivorous species and they do not normally stalk humans as they feed on seals, sea lions, Dolphins, and turtles.

When they attack the humans, they only take one exploratory bite and quickly release the victim realizing this is not the preferred prey. However, one exploratory bite can be fatal or traumatic.

What Factors Increase the Risk of Getting Attacked By Sharks?

The Great White Sharks can be found worldwide. They can be found in Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, and Alaska. You must avoid swimming in these places to avoid the risk of shark attacks; the following are the other factors that increase the risk of shark attacks:

  • Swimming in murky water and places where sharks are known to be present. 
  • Brightly colored clothes and shiny jewelry
  • Sharks are more active during dawn or dusk; being in water during that time.

Precautions to Reduce the Risk of Shark Attacks 

The sharks are highly dangerous to humans, and they attack them when they go into the water. You can take the following precautions to reduce the risk of being attacked by the sharks:

  • Avoid swimming in the places where sharks or their prey are present.
  • Use large nets that are used to create a barrier between humans and sharks while swimming.
  • Use electronic shark deterrents when you go into the water. They are used to repel the sharks by emitting an electric field.


1: Can Great White Sharks be Friendly?

No, the Great White Sharks can never be friendly as they do not have a softer side; they are known as the most aggressive and territorial of all sharks in the world.

2: Which Sharks Are More Aggressive?

The most aggressive sharks are Blue Shark, Great White Shark, Bull Shark, Tiger Shark, Bronze Whaler, and Blacktip Shark.

3: Which Shark is the Most Dangerous?

Bull sharks are one of the most dangerous known sharks in the world and are very similar to their more infamous relatives, tiger sharks, and great whites, both of which are considered equally dangerous.


The Great White Sharks are the most aggressive of all sharks; they are the powerful hunters present at the top of the marine food chain. These species are always on the move, hunting other marine animals to eat. The Great White Sharks are the deadliest marine animals with enormous size, powerful jaws, and sharp teeth. They are the sharks that most people are afraid of, and they may pose a threat to humans. These species do not feed on humans; however, they attack them due to their inquisitive nature.

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