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    12-Foot Great White Shark Makes Unusual Appearance Near Florida Coast (PHOTO)

    CC BY 2.0 / Elias Levy / Great White Shark
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    Miss Costa, a large female great white shark tagged by research company OCEARCH in September 2016, recently shocked monitors when the sub-adult fish made a rare appearance in Gulf waters near the Florida coast.

    Costa, named after OCEARCH partner Costa Sunglasses, pinged near the Big Bend area of the Gulf of Mexico on Monday at roughly 11:34 a.m. local time.

    While it isn't unusual for a great whites to pop up in Gulf waters, Costa's appearance is unique because the sharks don't tend to go too close to the coast or near enough to the water's surface to allow the implanted tracker to transmit a geolocation.

    ​"Her trip to the Florida Panhandle is significant because OCEARCH doesn't often track large white sharks that far north into the Gulf, especially big females," reads a Tuesday blog post from the company.

    Aside from Costa, researchers with the company have only tracked two other female sharks, one of which was named Katherine, in the Gulf. Officials speculate that Costa's migration routes suggest that she is maturing into an adult great white.

    "Now Miss Costa's new tracks can help us start adding more depth to our understanding of white shark movements in the Gulf," the post continued. "Miss Costa's behavior in this region will provide valuable data to test our hypothesis regarding the migration patterns of adult female white sharks in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean."

    ​Earlier this month, Costa pinged around the Florida Keys. A Twitter account managed by OCEARCH informed the popular shark's thousands of followers that she was heading toward the Panama City area in search of a "party."

    ​Costa was originally tagged by OCEARCH researchers on September 23, 2016, in Nantucket, Massachusetts. According to the company's tracker, she has traveled a whopping 12,396 miles.

    Earlier this year, researchers with diving company One Ocean shocked netizens when they shared images they managed to capture of Deep Blue, a massive great white estimated to be more than 50 years old, off the shores of Oahu.

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    Miss Costa, Great White Shark, OCEARCH, Florida, Gulf of Mexico
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