Jekyll the Great White Shark Tracked off Myrtle Beach

A great white shark known as Jekyll has been tracked swimming off Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

The juvenile great white shark, which is 8 foot, 4 inches long, was swimming off the coast of the city on February 8 at 4.18 a.m.

The shark was tracked by ocean research organization OCEARCH, who tagged him back in December 2022. The organization tracks movements of the sharks to learn more about their behavior.

Myrtle Beach is famed for its 60-mile stretch of beaches, which draws around 20 million visitors each year.

Great white sharks often swim in surface waters close to beaches. This may be more common in the winter, when they are seeking out warmer waters.

Great white shark
A stock photo shows a great white shark swimming in water. Jekyll, a shark tagged by OCEARCH, is off the coast of South Carolina. RamonCarretero/Getty

Jekyll has been in South Carolina for a few months. He last came close to Myrtle Beach on January 3. Since then, he has continued swimming through the waters off South Carolina.

Although Jekyll is close to the beach, it is unlikely that he will come into contact with humans. Conflicts usually only occur when sharks mistake humans in the water for prey. Attacks remain rare, especially during the winter months when there are less humans in the water.

A second shark, named Simon, has also pinged in South Carolina recently. This 8 foot, 11 inch shark pinged offshore of Charleston on February 8 at 4.55 a.m. Even though the two sharks are near to each other, great white sharks are a solitary species, meaning they do not travel together.

The two sharks both belong to a population of great white sharks that live along the east coasts of the U.S. and Canada.

The population typically makes an annual migration, spending its summers in the north and winters in the south.

OCEARCH has tagged many other sharks that swim up and down the East Coast.

Since the weather became colder, many of the organization's tagged sharks have been making their way down from Canada, traveling south for the winter.

Some of these sharks are as far south as Florida. Ironbound, a particularly huge great white measuring 12 foot, 4 inches, pinged off the coast of Miami in January.

One of OCEARCH's main aims is to learn more about the species through tagging them and tracking their movements. Great whites are elusive, and some of their behaviors remain a mystery to scientists. They know sharks make this migration in order to follow food sources, but other factors, such as mating, may come into play.

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