Great White Shark’s GPS Tracking Path Unexpectedly Creates a Self-Portrait

The global non-profit organization OCEARCH conducts research on the ocean’s biggest habitants to help scientists collect previously unattainable data and to ultimately restore balance and abundance to our oceans. To collect this information, they utilize harmless tagging and sample collection methods. Inadvertently, it seems that data can create some remarkable art.

OCEARCH’s Nova Scotia Expedition 2020 was focused on increasing the amount of great white sharks that are tagged “in order to develop the most advanced understanding yet of white shark biology, physiology, health, behavior and more.” Breton, a mature male great white, was one of the first sharks tagged in this expedition. Named after Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton, he weighed in at 1,437 pounds and measured 13 feet long when he was first spotted.

After Breton was tagged, he was safely released back into the ocean. By the end of the year, he had made it all the way to Florida. Researchers used this geographical information to further their work, but they weren’t the only ones watching the great white’s journey. Twitter user Chloe Marie had noticed in May 2022 that Breton’s path looked peculiar. She posted a screenshot of Breton’s Travel Log and asked OCEARCH, “Can we talk about how Breton looks like he’s doodling a shark?”

Breton was quickly nicknamed “sharkasso” (like Picasso) by Marie, and it’s no wonder why. The connect-the-dots style path is uncannily similar to a shark, complete with a shark fin and curved tail. In September 2022, the work of accidental art gained traction on Twitter when director Jeff Barnaby shared the image. If it’s hard to spot, don’t worry—someone replied with an image to clarify.

Scroll down to see the sharkcasso’s work. You can also keep up with Breton's journey on OCEARCH and learn more about the nonprofit’s work on its website.

OCEARCH, a non-profit that conducts research on the ocean’s biggest habitants, uses safe and harmless tagging methods to provide scientists with necessary information.


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A post shared by OCEARCH (@ocearch)

In 2020, the organization worked with great white sharks in Nova Scotia. Breton was their first tagged shark during the expedition.

Once tagged, he was released back into the ocean and by the end of the year, was already in Florida.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by OCEARCH (@ocearch)

Nearly two years after his journey started, Twitter user Chloe Marie noticed Breton’s tracking path looked peculiar.

By September 2022, many took notice of the accidental connect the dot self-portrait created by the aptly nicknamed “sharkasso.”

And if the shape isn’t clear enough, someone created an image to clarify.

OCEARCH: Website | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [The Inertia]

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Madyson DeJausserand

Madyson DeJausserand is a Video Editor at My Modern Met Academy and a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. She is also an award-winning filmmaker who graduated from Oakland University with a BA in Cinema Studies with a specialization in Filmmaking. Her passions for filmmaking and art bleed into her everyday life and she devotes her time to developing her voice as a filmmaker, writer, artist, and editor.
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