A great white shark heading for British waters could be bringing a whole school of killer fish with her – after scientists revealed she may be PREGNANT.
The 2,000lbs man-eater named Lydia became the first of its species ever recorded crossing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – and is now within 800 miles of the UK.
Boffins charting her progress with a GPS tracker have now revealed the 15ft shark might be heading our way to GIVE BIRTH.
Lydia has covered more than 19,400 miles in the past year since being fitted with a tracking device as part of a groundbreaking marine life study.
But experts say they are shocked by her recent dash towards Europe, swimming 313 miles in the past 72 hours alone.
Chris Fischer, expedition leader and founding chairman of the Ocearch shark tagging project, said Lydia may be looking for somewhere to rear young.
He said: “If I had to guess, I would guess that Lydia is pregnant and that she has been out in the open ocean gestating her babies and that this spring she will lead us to where those baby white sharks are born – the nursery.”
Great White Sharks normally give birth to around two to 12 babies at a time after a gestation period of 11 months.
Blood samples didn’t show Lydia was pregnant when researchers used a 34,000kg hydraulic platform to hoist her from the water to fit the tracking device.
But Mr Fischer, who has led numerous ocean expeditions, said there is uncertainty over how exactly Great Whites reproduce.
He said: “The sperm form the male comes in a packet with a shell on it. They can carry it around for a while until a special organ inside them breaks down the shell and they get pregnant.
“We know it’s 18 months from when we discover the breeding aggregation to when they lead us to the nursery
“What we don’t know is how long do they carry that sperm packet and how long is it until their body breaks down the shell.”
Lydia had been heading north but made a sharp turn east back towards east yesterday, putting it on a collision course with Blackpool.
Bookies Ladbrokes revealed that Lydia is 2-1 to visit Cornwall as her first port of call.
Her GPS tag only gives off a signal when she’s near the water’s surface meaning scientists sometimes have to wait days between new readings.
Mr Fischer said it was impossible to predict where she’ll head next.
He said: “If you forced me to guess where that was, I’d say it was over in the Mediterranean, near Turkey – but that’s longball I’m playing.
“She could turn around right now and head back to Florida.”