12-foot great white shark named Miss Costa tracked in Gulf

Unusual sighting made off Florida Panhandle

By AJ Willingham, CNN
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

(CNN) - Here's something you don't see every day: A 12-and-a-half-foot great white shark named Miss Costa has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida Panhandle.

It's not unheard of for great white sharks to travel into the Gulf. But this shark is special: Her name is Miss Costa, and she probably has more Twitter followers than you.

Miss Costa is one of the several sharks monitored by OCEARCH, a nonprofit that tracks and educates people about marine predators.

To help people see the, er, cuddly side of these sea giants, many of the sharks have their very own Twitter accounts and OCEARCH tracking pages.

Miss Costa has about 11,300 followers checking in on her whereabouts, which are sent to OCEARCH researchers by "pings" -- signals that emit from a tag on the shark's dorsal fin. She usually hangs around Nantucket, but gains fans (and followers) wherever she goes, from New England to South Carolina to, yes, the Gulf.

One of the reason Miss Costa's grand appearance is so interesting is because, according to the Pensacola News Journal, while great whites hang in the Gulf from time to time, they don't typically go near enough to the surface to signal one of those "pings."

Judging from her Twitter feed, Miss Costa is certainly enjoying her stay.

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