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These photos help show just how big great white sharks can be

"One of the hardest things to communicate to people is how massive white sharks can be."

There are some big sharks swimming off the coast of Massachusetts right now.

On Tuesday, local shark biologist John Chisholm shared photos of a massive white shark swimming around and feeding on a humpback whale carcass.

“One of the hardest things to communicate to people is how massive white sharks can be,” Chisholm wrote on his MA Sharks social media pages. “Until you see one in person, it’s hard to appreciate the girth which may be more impressive than length. These photos from yesterday, with the whale for scale, do help put it into perspective.”

The shark pictured is estimated to be over 17 feet long. According to the Smithsonian, white sharks can reach a maximum length of about 20 feet, about triple the size of a grown adult. The average males are typically 11 to 13 feet, while average females can reach 15 to 16 feet long. White sharks can also weigh up to 6,600 pounds, according to Oceana, a little less than three times the weight of a small car.

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Most sharks are estimated to live about 30 years, but a 2014 study estimated large male sharks could live up to 73 years and large female sharks up to 40 years.

Humpback whales, however, can grow up to 60 feet long (their tails alone can be 18 feet wide), weigh 80,000 pounds, and live 80 to 90 years, according to Oceana.

On Monday, Chisholm also posted about the sharks seen feeding on the whale. One of the sharks, named Entwife, was tagged in 2017 and is estimated to be around 16 or 17 feet long.

“Several white sharks sighted today off MA including one enormous individual feeding on a dead humpback whale,” he wrote. “The two others seem tiny in comparison.”

Several white sharks sighted today off MA including one enormous individual feeding on a dead humpback whale. The two…

Posted by MA Sharks on Monday, August 16, 2021

Whale watching boat company Captain John Boats shared a close-up video and photos of two large sharks feeding on the whale, which was seen during a boat tour.

“This afternoon was a trip for the record books!” They posted on Monday. “We started off our trip by taking a look at a whale who was unfortunately deceased. While we were there 2 enormous white sharks came to feast! We stood by while the research team collected video of these two doing what sharks do best!”

What a beautiful day for a whale watch! Our morning whale watch was filled with humpbacks! We started off with a couple…

Posted by Captain John Boats on Monday, August 16, 2021

Though many commenters expressed fear at the size of these sharks, one commenter had a more optimistic view:

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“Well since he’s not hungry, let’s go swimming!”

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