If, like my friend Angie, you’re not a fan of sharks, this is definitely not the post for you. Quit reading right now and find something else to do.
Still with me? Then allow me to introduce you to Lydia. She’s a great white, one of a hundred or so sharks worldwide being studied by OCEARCH – a non-profit organization that examines the biology, health and migration of sharks and other top predators in an effort to protect them and enhance public safety and education.
Thanks to a tracking tag, OCEARCH has been following Lydia’s movements since March 2013. And the girl really gets around. She’s traveled more than 35,000 miles in two years, venturing as far north as Newfoundland, Canada and east across the Atlantic almost to the UK.
Whenever Lydia surfaces for more than a minute or so, her tagging device signals a satellite, reporting her location. Her most recent ping, detected March 12, indicated she was headed straight for the Bahamas.
By tagging Lydia and other sharks, OCEARCH can track and study them in a way that’s impossible to do with free-swimming, untagged creatures. According to the organization, the tracking tags don’t injure the sharks or disrupt their normal movements or lifespans. (Did you know great whites can live up to 70 years?!)
Lydia’s current location won’t be known until she “pings” again, but if you’re in or near the Bahamas, keep an eye out for her. At 2,000 pounds and 14.5 ft long — and with red and blue tags on her dorsal fin — she shouldn’t be hard to spot!