Fans who love learning about the ocean’s largest predators tune into Shark Week each July for a week-long US TV programming special.
Initially started in 1988 by the Discovery channel, it continues today as a way of correcting misconceptions about sharks, as well as promoting conservation of the species.
In light of the highly-anticipated week, we’re sharing some impressive shark superlatives with Guinness World Records titles.
The world's fastest shark is the shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus, with recorded swimming speeds exceeding 56 km/h (34.8 mph).
Largest hammerhead shark species
Of the nine currently-recognised species of hammerhead shark, by far the largest is the great hammerhead Sphyrna mokarran, which attains a maximum length of 6.1 m (20 ft). It inhabits tropical waters around all of the world's continents except Europe, and can sometimes be encountered in reefs as shallow as 1 m (3 ft), despite its very impressive size – at least a third longer than any other hammerhead species.
The world's largest fish is the rare plankton-feeding whale shark (Rhincodon typus), which is found in the warmer areas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The largest scientifically recorded example was 12.65 m (41 ft 6 in) long, measured 7 m (23 ft) round the thickest part of the body and weighed an estimated 21.5 tonnes (47,000 lb). It was captured off Baba Island, near Karachi, Pakistan, on 11 November 1949.
Largest predatory fish
The largest predatory fish is the rare great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). Adult specimens average 4.3–4.6 m (14–15 ft) in length, and generally weigh 520–770 kg (1,150–1,700 lb). There are many claims of huge specimens up to 10 m (33 ft) in length and, although few have been properly authenticated, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that some great whites grow to more than 6 m (20 ft) in length.
Shark with the largest teeth relative to body size
The shark with the largest teeth relative to body size is the largetooth cookiecutter Isistius plutodus, named after the Egyptian goddess Isis, and measuring around 0.4 m (1 ft 4 in) in total length. However, its lower jaw's 19 triangular teeth with interlocking rectangular bases are proportionately huge, twice as large relative to this species' total body length as the great white shark's teeth are in relation to its own total body length.