Researchers Capture First Ever Video Of Single Orca Killing A Great White Shark… In A Matter Of Minutes

Shark is eaten by an orca whale
Nat Geo

They’re called “killer whales” for a reason…

The great white shark might be the most feared ocean beast, but the orca is claiming its place at the top of the food chain. Orcas, also know as “killer whales” belong to the sub-order of toothed whales (known as odontocetes) but are actually the largest member of the dolphin family. Technically all dolphins are whales, but not all whales are dolphins. It’s confusing, I know… and we don’t really have to get into the details, but feel free to pull that fun fact out at a party. You know… if you want people to think you’re total loser…

Anyways, orcas live in groups called pods and are very social, often even hunting together in packs, much like wolves do. They are absolutely massive sea beasts, weighing as much as 10 tons and measuring up to 30 feet long. Not only are they large and powerful, but also incredibly smart. They are known to communicate with each other while working together on hunts to increase their success rate. On top of their intelligence, they can move at a pretty quick pace of up to 35 miles per hour, good enough to land them as the second fastest marine mammals behind dolphins.

But perhaps most fascinating, these animals are the only known predator to great whites sharks. Yes, a pod of orcas can take down a great white shark. However now, we finally have the proof that a single orca, completely alone, can STILL take down a great white shark, and… in just a matter of minutes.

And what’s more, we now have two examples of this rare phenomenon.

Recorded by National Geographic off the coast of South Africa for a show titled “Queens,” this 60 year old orca named Sophie was filmed taking a run at a young great white, ramming it with its head. It is believed to be one of two videos of a solo orca taking down a great white.

Dr. Chris Lowe tells ABC News the event is a bit of an anomaly:

“Orca are very smart animals. They’re very powerful and, in some cases, probably even more powerful than a white shark. I think what we’re seeing is probably an anomaly. I don’t think it happens that often.

We often think of white sharks as being the top predator in the ocean when actually orca are.”

Insane footage…

And as much as it is an anomaly, just two months prior to this instance, another solo orca was captured killed a great white.

This orca, named Starboard, charged a great white in open water off the coast of South Africa as well, and this one, was killed in mere minutes. Tore its liver right from its body in minutes… there wasn’t even a fight. Dr Alison Towner, of Rhodes University, led an international research team to the waters of South Africa to capture video footage, and they got the surprise of a lifetime.

She described the once in a lifetime scene:

“What we witnessed was an orca, nicknamed Starboard – due to his collapsed dorsal fin – performing alone to incapacitate and consume a white shark within an astounding two-minute timeframe. Starboard was observed preying on a 8.2 foot juvenile white shark, later carrying the shark’s liver in its mouth past a boat.

Analyzing the footage of Starboard surprised us. We were not aware that he was able to prey upon this shark species solitarily and in such a rapid time frame. It just goes to show how proficient and skilled he is – a true super predator.”

Move over Jaws… between orcas ramming ships off the coast of Spain and nuking great whites off the coast of South Africa, it’s undisputed that they’re officially the biggest and baddest SOBs in the deep blue sea. Orcas we’re always pretty cool (shoutout Free Willy) but ripping out a shark’s liver in less than two minutes? ALONE? I have a whole new level of respect for them.

Check it out:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock