Are megalodon living in the mariana trench?
Is it even possible for megalodon to live in the mariana trench?
What the hell is the mariana trench?
What the hell is a megalodon?
I know I’m not the only one that wants answers to these questions. Here’s what I’ve got.
Last updated 31st march 2020
What is the mariana trench?
For those of you that don’t know, the mariana trench is the deepest part of the world. It’s located in the western Pacific ocean, near the mariana islands. It’s a crescent-shaped trough in the Earth’s crust averaging about 2,550 km long and 69 km wide. The maximum known depth is 10,994 metres, although there have been reports of 11,035 metres.
Some comparisons, to get an idea of how deep the mariana trench is.
- The current, deep sea diving world record is 332 metres.
- Navy submarines report they can go more than 800 metres deep.
- At 1,000 metres it becomes completely dark, known as the midnight zone.
- The ocean floor is registered at 3,682 metres.
- Its that deep, it could fully submerge mount everest (8,848 metres) with about 2km to spare, = HUGE.
What is a megalodon?
Basically a massive shark. Megalodon, meaning “big tooth” is thought to be an extinct, species of shark. (Meaning it was once living or still is) Estimated to of grown between 15 and 18 meters in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark. ?
Without having a complete megalodon skeleton. Scientists base their estimates on the size of the megladons teeth. Which is 18cm in length, hence the name “big tooth”.
Snack time for a megalodon
Grizzly shark: volume 1 by Ryan ottley
The bite force of a megalodon is estimated to be around 108,514 newton’s (N) and 182,201N. For comparison, humans have been measured with a bite force of around 1,317N. While great white sharks have been predicted to be able to bite down with a force of 18,216N.
With 276 teeth and a jaw that spanned 2.7 by 3.4 metres. Easily big enough to swallow two whole humans at once. This pretty much means they could eat whatever the hell they wanted.
Although it’s thought that a megalodon would of fed on other large fish (obviously) . With the smallest being the size of a dolphin and the largest a hump back whale. Probably other sharks for good measure too, why not.
Is it possible? are megalodon living in the mariana trench?
Well probably not anymore, but with more people landing on the moon, than have been to the bottom of the mariana trench, there’s allways a chance.
Plus they weren’t really a deep sea kinda shark. As mentioned before, they need to eat alot of big fish and you don’t really get alot of that at the bottom of the ocean…Or at least it hasn’t been proven ?.
Although a sperm whale would be a pretty good meal for any megalodon. Sperm whales can be found upto 8,000 feet deep, but even then they’d have no place being there. So that’s probably not happening.
What about giant squid? They’re believed to dive deep into the ocean and be prey for sperm whales. Could megalodon be having a cheeky giant squid for tea? Who knows.
But why are megalodon messing around at the bottom of a trench?
So how would this coastal predator go from munching on whales and dolphins. To having deep diving creatures for tea at the bottom of the mariana trench?
One possibility is that a small population of Megalodon Sharks had already evolved to live at those depths before the larger population of Megalodon went extinct. Therefore, when the environmental changes occurred that led to the perceived extinction of the Megalodon Shark, the population that lived at great depths continued to thrive while the sharks who lived in shallower water died off.
What about that other shark no-one knew about?
That would be the Megamouth Shark. It’s a massive fish reaching 20 feet in length or more. Despite its impressive size, it remained unknown until 1976. One of the reasons is because it is vertically migratory, meaning it only comes anywhere near the surface at night. In the daytime, it dives down to 500 feet or deeper.
The Megamouth Shark remained hidden for so long simply because it dove to 500 feet for most of the day. What chances do we have of finding a Megalodon that may live at 11,000 metres?
Are there any other deep sea sharks?
Well there’s The Portuguese Dogfish it’s a species of Sleeper Shark known to survive at depths of up to 12,000 feet.
The Pacific Sleeper Shark and Greenland Shark are huge animals reaching over 20 feet in length which can live at depths of up to 9,000 feet.
Even the Great White Shark has been recorded diving to depths of 4,000 feet.
So, there seems to be nothing preventing a Megalodon from living in the dark of the ocean, should it have reason to do so. However, this also tells us that Megalodon doesn’t need the depths of the Mariana Trench to stay hidden.
So, are megalodon alive the mariana trench or what?
Is it really possible, are megalodon living in the mariana trench? Could small populations of Megalodon Sharks evolved to feed on prey in very deep water, and because of this managed to avoid extinction? Could this remnant population of Megalodon Shark still thrive today. Far out of sight of humans?
Maybe. But, while it may be true that Megalodon lives in the upper part of the water column over the Mariana Trench, it probably has no reason to hide in its depths. There’s no food for it down there, and no other shark species are known to thrive that deep.
Of course it’s also possible there is another piece of the puzzle not yet considered. If Megalodon has managed to remain hidden from modern science, isn’t it also possible that another large unknown animal lives in the ocean depths as well?
If a large, unknown prey item lives in the Mariana Trench. Is it possible Megalodon followed it down? and now lives deeper than any shark species every recorded?
Now that’s an interesting idea. But unfortunately not one with any scientific merit, as of yet anyway. This is all theory, and food for thought. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you think is possible. Does the Megalodon Shark still live, deep in the Mariana Trench?