Fictional characters and dead presidents have become social media sensations and most recently, a great white shark has joined their ranks. Mary Lee, a 16-foot female great white shark, has caught the nation's attention as she makes her way north up the coast. Local media along the coast and national news outlets including CBS and Discovery have turned a spotlight on Mary Lee's Twitter page.
The travelogue, courtesy of the researchers at Ocearch, documents Mary Lee's journey to the soon to be warm(er) waters of Cape Cod and the abundant source of a great white's favorite snack: seal.
On September 17, 2012, Ocearch tagged Mary Lee aboard their research vessel off Cape Cod. They brought her onboard, collected her vitals, weighed her (3,456 lbs) and tagged her.
Two months after being tagged, Mary Lee signed up for Twitter. Since being released back into the sea, Mary Lee has been tracked from the Cape to destinations south for the winter and back to the Cape. According to Ocearch, the tags transmit data via satellite when sharks are near the surface of the water. Mary Lee spends more time at the surface, accounting for more pings than some of the other sharks, according to Ocearch.
Just last week as the right whales started to depart Cape Cod Bay and basking sharks swam in to dine on what was left of the zooplankton, Mary Lee was swimming off Delaware.
Monday, around lunchtime, Mary Lee was cruising past Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland.
Considered majestic and often menacing, this great white is fun and rather witty. When asked by a follower how she tweets with fins, Mary Lee quipped, "How do YOU tweet with thumbs?" The regional and national exposure has bolstered Mary Lee's following. Her 58,000 followers jumped to 62,000 overnight.
Follow Mary Lee on Twitter here.