A mysterious cave of a white shark has been discovered in what experts once thought was a "blank, bald" piece of the Pacific Ocean.
The surprising discovery shocked scientists, who had no idea where the sharks came from – and thought the region could not support their diet.
Every year the great white shark community of California makes a mysterious pilgrimage to an area called the "white shark cafe".
The deadly marine animals swim for months to spend their winter and spring in a vast area of the Pacific Ocean.
The area, which lies between Mexico & # 39; s Baja California and Hawaii, has proved to be a great mystery for scientists.
But now researchers have followed the sharks and visited the "middle-of-nowhere spot," as first mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle.
What puzzled scientists in particular was why sharks swim vast distances.
It seemed especially strange because it was assumed that the region "lacked the kind of prey" that large whites prefer.
But a joint expedition through Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium found that the shark stay had enough space to go around.
Researchers discovered a "huge community" of small light-sensitive creatures that are very seductive to the Pacific sharks.
According to experts, the area is full of cuttlefish and small fish that move in a deep water area of the ocean known as & # 39; in the middle of the water & # 39 ;.
This is the region just above the deepest parts of the sea, where complete darkness prevails.
Researchers now hope to further investigate the area.
"The story of the white shark tells you that this area is crucial in ways we never know," said Salvador Jorgensen, researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
"They tell us this incredible story about the middle of the water and there is this whole secret life that we need to know."
He added: "What we have learned from the progress of our research is that this layer in the middle of the water is extremely important for white sharks."
The researchers concentrate on a large 160-mile radius area that lies around 1,200 nautical miles east of Hawaii.
Scientists only have a very limited understanding of the region because of the remote location.
The interest in the area grew when 14 years ago scientist Barbara Block, from Standford's Marine Station, confirmed acoustic pinger tags to white sharks.
Blok discovered that local sharks fed in the "Red Triangle", an area near Monterey Bay, between August and December.
But each year in December, the acoustic tags would follow a huge movement towards the sea, leaving experts confused.
It turned out that the sharks were swimming out to a piece of open ocean that was twice as big as England – and that Block was the "white shark cafe & # 39; was named.
To investigate the issue, block attached acoustic tags to block 36 local sharks, as well as satellite monitoring tags with locator beacons that were designed to pop-off and float to the surface.
Next, researchers organized a one-month expedition on the research vessel Falkor in an attempt to trace the tags.
Researchers were able to collect information from 10 of the 22 tags that floated to the surface in what Block described as a white shark treasure hunt & # 39 ;.
"We now have a gold mine of data, and we have doubled the current 20-year data set on behavior and preferences for white sharks in just three weeks," said Block.
She added that it "would help us better understand the persistence of this unique environment and why it attracts such large predators."
It turned out that sharks made unusual deep 3,000 meters deep dives, using warm currents to follow the prey deep under water.
Scientists believe, but can not say for sure, that the sharks are snacking on small fish and jellyfish sweets.
The experts say that sharks of different sexes behave differently.
Male sharks would dive up and down through water in a V-shape, up to 140 times a day.
Females, meanwhile, would dive deep into the day and shallow into the light – creating more confusion for scientists.
"It is the largest migration of animals on earth – a vertical migration that is timed with the light cycle," Jorgensen said.
"During the day, they just go down where light is and at night they come closer to the surface to provide warmer, more productive waters under the cover of darkness."