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Mary Lee, a great white shark with 130,000 Twitter followers, has disappeared. Photo: Ocearch

Mary Lee, a great white shark with 130,000 Twitter followers, has disappeared. Photo: Ocearch


The Inertia

You might’ve heard of Mary Lee, a great white shark who, despite the fact that she has no thumbs and is physically incapable of tweeting, has more Twitter followers than you. Well, she seems to have disappeared.

Mary Lee has been tracked for nearly five years, starting back in 2012 when Ocearch tagged her with a transmitter off the coast of Cape Cod. Since then, she’s gained around 130,000 followers on Twitter. As it turned out, they tagged one very active shark—Mary Lee registered more times than any other shark on record. When a tagged shark’s fin gets above the ocean’s surface, a signal is sent out to researchers alerting them to the location, giving them information about the migratory patterns of great whites.

Mary Lee’s not a small shark, either. Measuring in at 16-feet, she was all over the East Coast of the United States for years. The last time her transmitter pinged was back in June, when she popped up off New Jersey’s coast. While her fans are worried about her welfare, researchers aren’t too stressed. They say it’s likely that the batteries in Mary Lee’s transmitter have simply died.

“I feel like she’s done so much, it’s hard to ask for anything else,” said, Chris Fischer of Ocearch, who had been tracking Mary Lee. “For any individual shark, she’s undone more of the damage from Jaws than any shark in history.”

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If nature has its way, Mary Lee will probably be around for another two decades, and boaters off the coast of South Carolina will be on the lookout for her. For now, though, it seems as though social media’s most famous shark won’t be passing along valuable information to researchers anymore.


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