What is the Biggest Shark? A Chart Shows the Diversity of Shark Sizes

Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark, which has been known to get as large as 18 meters (60 feet). The smallest fits in your hand. And the great white shark is somewhere in the middle. See photos and learn more about the wide diversity of sharks, read 5 reasons to revere sharks, and see even more articles about sharks.

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Submitted by Raven (not verified) on

I knew the whale shark was the largest shark . If anyone disagrees comment why.

Submitted by Raven (not verified) on

It is true.

Submitted by Cooper (not verified) on

tiger sharks can be 20-25 which is bigger than the great white. also hammerheads have been known to be around the same as great whites.

Submitted by jono (not verified) on

it was ok

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on
Hi Kazoua, Megalodon isn't on the list because this image shows sharks that are alive today. Megalodon has been extinct for at least 1.5 million years. But you are right that it was big; fossils show us that it reached lengths of up to 46–59 feet (14–18 meters). Thanks for reading and commenting Best, The Ocean Portal Team

Submitted by Kazoua (not verified) on

Megalodon isn't on the list, I believe it is the biggest shark in the sea that lives over 6,500ft below sea level. XD

Submitted by elizabeth (not verified) on

The biggest shark is the megladon it is so big!

Submitted by that kid (not verified) on

Thats fascinating but where are the tiger sharks or the hammer head sharks or even the bull sharks

Submitted by Me... (not verified) on

Awesome! This chart was great for illustrating to kids the size difference and proportions of different sharks! =)

Submitted by Joman Vazquez (not verified) on

What about Greenland Shark? I heard it is almost as big as the Great White!!!

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on

Hi Spencer,

This page only shows living sharks. You can see more about the extinct megalodon shark here - http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/great-white-shark-evolution

Thanks for commenting!

-The Ocean Portal Team

Submitted by spencer fortney (not verified) on

Megalodon is the biggest shark ever duh!

Submitted by cgray (not verified) on

The megalodon is extinct. Regardless of what ridiculous fake doc you watched. This is for living species.

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on


The great hammerhead can get pretty close in size to the great white (up to 20 feet), but typically great hammerheads are closer to around 12 feet long.

Thanks for commenting!
The Ocean Portal Team

Submitted by JME IV (not verified) on

Actually, the Great Hammerhead is longer than the Great White, so I support your inquiry.

Submitted by Facebook (not verified) on

where is the hammer head shark it is bigger than a nurse shark but still not seeing it

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

no they are totaly different sharks

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

is the bronze whaler the same as the whale shark?

Submitted by xerpogi (not verified) on

Glad bout this information.

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on


There are more than 470 species of shark, so we couldn't fit them all on the chart! The sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus), also known as the cow shark, would squeeze in between the mako shark and nurse shark. Male sixgill sharks average around 10 feet, while females are closer to 13 feet.

I hope that helps. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on


Thanks for reading and commenting. This chart has to generalize about size. Some mako sharks are 12 feet long, but most are closer to 8 feet. And nurse sharks can reach 13 feet long.

We wish we could have included all the shark species on the chart, but there simply isn't enough room!

As for goblin sharks, there have only been 45 specimens observed ever! From those, it seems like they average around 10 feet in length; however, 45 individuals isn't enough to be sure. Pelagic thresher sharks are also around 10 feet.

Thanks again!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

this is wrong. The nurse shark is not that big and the mako is more than 8 feet long. IN fact, Goblin sharks and pelagic thresher sharks should be ON THAT LIST.

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on

Very good point! Thanks for making it. For more information, read this article, 5 Reasons to Revere, Not Fear, The Shark.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I think that it is important to note that despite their size, the majority of the sharks on this list do not pose a threat to humans.