Great white sharks are among the most feared predators on Earth.

They strike terror into the hearts of swimmers who have been conditioned to fear them over the years as a result of frightening film and TV portrayals.

The animal is synonymous with the 'duh duh, duh duh' sound, but in actual reality, British beachgoers have nothing to worry about.

However, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

According to the marine experts at Ocearch, they could end up in UK waters in the near future.

Tracking investigations showed that the creatures have started to regularly swim north as they search for food, being spotted on the United States’s New England coast more and more in recent years.

Before the 1970s, Cape Cod, a peninsula in Massachusetts, had virtually no great white sharks, but the area has seen a rise in the number of great whites near its shores in the past 50 years.

Experts have surmised that this is due to the number of seals that have migrated towards these regions.

The US Government’s efforts to protect the seals have in turn helped great white's to thrive, as seals are one of the key sources of food the shark depends on.

The Ocearch team are hoping to visit the UK next summer and expect to locate some of the vicious predators in British waters.

Great White Sharks in the UK

Talking to The Times, the research group’s founder Chris Fischer said: “We believe they should be moving up past Brest [in Brittany, France] and Cornwall”.

However, marine biologist Gregory Skomal disagrees with Ocearch’s theory, sharing that there have been zero great white shark spottings around Cornwall. He explained: “They should be there but they are not and we don’t know why.”

According to the University of Plymouth’s records, however, great whites have been spotted around the UK since 1965, with nearly 100 credible but unconfirmed sightings being noted in the last decade.

Great white sharks are most commonly found around the coastline of California, Hawaii, and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in Australia and South Africa. They are predators that are known for swimming great distances to get to food and are said to be able to smell a drop of blood in one million drops of water.

The shark is also known to prey upon a variety of other animals, including fish, other sharks, and seabirds. It has only one recorded natural predator, the orca.

Previously, scientists have warned that climate change, which contributes to rising ocean temperatures, would force the species to migrate and end up off the UK coastline by 2050.

Experts believe the species, previously rarely seen in British waters, are making UK shores their full-time home.

Rest assured - somewhat - that humans are not their preferred prey.

Although, nevertheless, they are responsible for the largest number of reported and identified fatal unprovoked shark attacks on humans.

For all captains of our shores, well, you know the line.