The Greenland Shark, as its name suggests, is found in the ice cold waters of the Northern parts of the Atlantic Ocean, near the tundra regions of Iceland and Greenland. Locally referred to as the grey shark, gurry shark, sleeper shark, and the ground shark, this mighty sea creature constitutes one of the largest species within the shark family, after the Great White Shark. Fully mature males grow up to an average size of 6.4 meters (21 feet) long, and weigh around a thousand kg (2200 pounds). One captured male measured a staggering 7.3 meters (24 feet).
Greenland sharks are believed to live quite long lives. An estimate by experts on the species places the average life span of the shark at around 200 years. Greenland sharks are primarily deep sea dwellers. They normally live under 2000 meters (6600 feet), but are known to come towards shallow waters as well. A research team from North America caught the sharks on film in the St Lawrence River, when they were swimming at a depth of just 8 meters (24 feet). The species feeds mainly on fish, but also eats sea mammals like seals and polar bears, and sometimes animals like reindeer and horses that wander too close to the shore. Some experts believe that the shark is more of a scavenger than a predator, which explains the wide variety of edible contents found in their stomachs during research.
The meat of the shark is quite poisonous as it contains a high amount of urea and toxins, which break down inside the consumerâ€™s body to produce extremely intoxicating effects. It can be consumed safely if boiled for a few days. Greenland sharks are usually not a risk to humans out at sea, though some Eskimos believe that the sharks purposefully attach kayaks and boats containing humans.