Great White Sharks Are Scared of Killer Whales

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Image credit: Terry Goss, Wikimedia Commons

Given their fearsome reputation and tendency to eat fat kids on rafts, you’d be forgiven for assuming that great white sharks generally floated lazily around the ocean occasionally taking the time to attack the people who mistook them for slightly rounder dolphins without a care or fear in the world. However, there is one creature that great white sharks are genuinely terrified of, killer whales. 

While encounters between these two ocean dwelling murder-beasts are rare and fights between them are rarer still, they have been observed in the wild and boy do they make for interesting reading. While your first instinct might be to bet on the great white shark due to its ferocity and winning personality, killer whales have them outmatched in almost every possible category. In fact, in the few instances these giants of the deep have squared off and tried to headbutt each other in the dick, killer whales have consistently trumped their toothy adversaries.

In one famous case from 1997, a female killer whale just off the coast of California immobilised a 13 foot long great white by flipping it upside down, presumably with an awesome suplex, after which it then held the shark in place until it died of a combination of lack of oxygen and shame. Once the shark had died, the whale then nibbled on its liver and peaced the fuck out, leaving its corpse as a warning to other sharks. Just to be clear, that last part isn’t a joke on our part, because scientists noted that a few hours after the attack, every single shark within several miles had fucking disappeared. All in all it’s estimated that well over 100 big-ass sharks swam away with piss streaming behind them after an attack by just one killer whale. They were that scared of being next.

"He's right behind me you guys, you have to let me hide here!"
“He’s right behind me you guys!”

Seemingly just to prove that this wasn’t a freak occurrence, a few years later another killer whale attacked another great white shark in the exact same area. The details of the attack aren’t known because scientists only observed the aftermath, but it’s thought that the killer whale came out on top because it was later observed going about its business with a huge chunk of great white flesh in its grill, presumably whilst humming a sarcastic rendition of the Jaws theme to itself.

In addition to this, scientists also observed that like in 1997, just after the attack every single shark in the immediate area disappeared without a trace, with the sole exception of a recently geo-tagged specimen dubbed as Tipfin which the scientists were able to track. According to the results gleaned from Tipfin’s tag, moments after the killer whale attack occurred he dived almost half a mile below the surface and swam straight to Hawaii. To be fair to Tipfin we can’t really blame him for fleeing to Hawaii because we’d probably do the same thing if we saw someone someone rip a great white shark in two with their teeth.