From the largest to the best dancer, sharks dominated pop culture in 2015

Sure, according to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 was technically the Year of the Sheep. But for everyone else paying attention to pop culture, 2015 was the Year of the Shark.

Sharks dominated international headlines. From changing the way people go about their trips to the beach to stealing the show in Kelly Slater’s Instagram videos, sharks seemed to constantly be in the news this year.

With that in mind, let’s look back at the sharks that captured our hearts and imaginations in 2015.

Deep Blue

Great white sharks have a way of inspiring awe.

One of the largest apex predators in the ocean, great whites have swum the Earth’s oceans for millions of years. Capable of launching themselves up to 10 feet out of the water to capture unsuspecting prey, the sheer size and power of great whites has been well recorded.

So when a great white is possibly the “largest great white ever videotaped,” you know that means something.

Which brings us to our friend Deep Blue.

Measuring more than 20 feet long, with the girth of a fat hippo, Deep Blue is a great white that was captured on video off the coast of Mexico’s Guadalupe Island. The video of Deep Blue went ultra-viral when it was posted to Facebook in June, garnering millions of views.

Mary Lee

Mary lee the shark

Mary Lee has developed a massive online Twitter following.

While Deep Blue might be the biggest shark we saw in 2015, Mary Lee was by far the most savvy when it came to social media.

Mary Lee, a large great white shark currently being tracked up and down the East Coast of the United States by the research group OCEARCH, has inspired a parody Twitter account with nearly 100,000 followers.

Showcasing a quick wit, the Twitter account often interacts with followers who check in on the shark’s current location.

Mary Lee the Shark Twitter conversation

Left Shark

Every generation has its defining figure. And no figure captures the collective angst and awkwardness of the Y-Generation better than Left Shark.

Though the final scoreboard said that the New England Patriots were the victors of Super Bowl XLIX, the 118.5 million viewers who tuned into the halftime show (more than the 114.4 million who watched the actual game) know that the real winner was Left Shark.

One of performer Katy Perry’s backup dancers, costumed as a bug-eyed shark, was woefully out of sync during the performance, looking less like a professional dancer and more like a dazed spectator who half-wittingly crawled on stage.

Ultimately, Left Shark’s performance became the stuff of folklore, inspiring countless memes:

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