Giant grouper fish, close up
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 1, 2024 ·  3 min read

Footage of Gigantic Grouper Devouring Shark Caught on Camera

Despite the planet’s vast amount of water, very little is known about what lies beneath the depths. In recent years, scientists have been exploring more and more. Learning about the mysterious seas that make up so much of our planet. In 2019, the NOAA was studying an area off the coast of South Carolina, when they captured something that is both enthralling and terrifying. A grouper fish can be spotted eating a shark.

Sharks have a reputation for sparking in fear in beach goers, which only became amplified by the hit movie, ‘Jaws’. After all, they’re Apex predators, the top of their food chain, according to MarinePatch. On the other hand, there are sea animals that hide beneath the depths. Seemingly more terrifying than some shark breeds. For example, the aforementioned video captures a grouper. large enough to eat a shark that was hiding within the equipment used by the NOAA.

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Unexpected Grouper Sighting

The NOAA research team was initially studying a possible shipwreck when they caught a glimpse of the unexpected grouper. The ‘Deep 2019 Expedition’ was a 2-part, 43-day mission that spanned the East Coast from South Carolina to Georgia and Florida. The video feed showing the grouper was captured during the stint in South Carolina, about 80 miles off the coast. The team, heard commenting on the unplanned grouper show, was watching the footage as a group of sharks were eating a dead swordfish. The grouper appears from hiding and seemingly snatches the shark with ease.

Grouper eating a shark
Photo Credit: NOOA | YouTube

Sharks and Groupers

The swordfish was estimated to weigh around 250 pounds, and there was a total of 11 sharks enjoying their meal when the grouper struck. The shark, known as a dogfish, is the second largest order of its family, with more than 119 species, making up just over 25% of all shark species worldwide. As a result, they can range in both weight and size, but females typically, are larger. The video was posted to the NOAA blog, which read: ‘The swordfish was clearly recently deceased, perhaps only by a few hours, given the condition of its body and the rapid disappearance of its flesh into the stomachs of the sharks. The cause of the death of this majestic animal is unclear, perhaps owing to age, disease, or some other injury.

The reason for the mystery: “Any type of injury would have been masked by the massive damage caused by hundreds of shark bites.”

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Variety in Every Species

Grouper range in size but the largest ever recorded was the 800 pound ‘Goliath’ Grouper. Grouper are protected by law and often travel in solitude. They live in tropical and subtropical waters and have a variety of colors and spotted patterns. Grouper fish are a ‘deep-sea’ species, meaning they live anywhere from 700-2000 feet below sea level.

It demonstrated the ability of large predatory fishes to feed on smaller sharks. The wreckfish appears unable to feed on the swordfish directly itself, but by joining the sharks, it was able to feed on an animal that was.” The blog also stated.

Although grouper sightings are rare, especially on camera and for science, this isn’t the first footage of the giant deep-ocean dwellers that has surfaced. In 2014, a fisherman caught footage a grouper fish snatching a black tip shark “in one bite”. On the other hand, shark sightings aren’t uncommon because there are more than 400 species worldwide. They range in size from the 7-inch Dwarf lantern shark to the 60-foot whale shark. Yet, the NOAA team disclosed capturing the sharks was just as unexpected as catching the grouper on video. However, they attribute the phenomena to the fact that there was a meal nearby.

Read More: Did you know the world has a fifth ocean?


  1. Expedition Summary.” NOAA
  2. Dogfish.” Animals
  3. Biggest Grouper Ever Recorded.” American Oceans.
  4. Sharks At the Top: Are Sharks Apex Predators?Marine Patch
  5. Incredible moment a giant grouper fish devours a SHARK is caught on camera by deep-sea researchers searching for shipwrecks.Daily Mail. Joe Pinkstone. July 12, 2019.