Great white sharks love to linger off Carolina coast. There’s a scientific reason why

Great white sharks love to linger off the Carolinas, and data posted this week by OCEARCH reveals the large predators are deliberate in their prowling spots.

In all, five great white sharks are being tracked off the Carolinas, and satellite images show they’re hugging the edges of a very specific and dynamic current, says OCEARCH. The sharks range in size from 4 feet to just over 12 feet.

“Check out how many white sharks we are tracking who are taking advantage of all of the upwellings that occur right on the fringe of the Gulf Stream,” said an OCEARCH Facebook post.

“These upwellings stir up lots of nutrients and by being on the edge of the stream, the sharks have access to a wide range of water temperatures,” OCEARCH explained.

Upwelling is caused when coastline winds push water away from beaches, allowing “deeper, colder, nutrient-rich water” to rise and take its place, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


“These nutrients ‘fertilize’ surface waters, meaning that these surface waters often have high biological productivity. Therefore, good fishing grounds typically are found where upwelling is common,” says NOAA.

The more fish in the area, the more sharks come looking to feed.

A Coastal Studies Institute report describes the Gulf Stream as “a powerful, warm body of water that originates in the Gulf of Mexico” and it flows north 15 to 20 miles off North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras.

“Traveling at a speed of approximately 5 miles per hour, the Gulf Stream has more power than all of world’s rivers combined, transporting nearly 2.5 billion cubic feet of water per second off of Cape Hatteras,” says a Coastal Studies Institute report.

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