The ghost sharks are said to inhabit the troubled, haunted waters of the Devil's Triangle, where the dead sharks living there were revived as undead creatures. The undead sharks consist of three sharks: one great white, one hammerhead, and one additional shark implied to be a mako shark (identified as an additional great white shark in production). Decades later, the sharks returned to the Seven Seas as ghosts as the undead crew of the Silent Mary continued to hunt pirates on the high seas.
According to Jeff Nathanson's script, the idea for developing the ghost shark attack sequence was one of the fun sequences to design, to which the sharks from Joachim Rønning's previous film Kon-Tiki were used as an inspiration for creating them (though normal sharks in Rønning's previous film instead of undead ones). Additionally, the production crew began to combine the sharks' menacing appearance to a real-life living shark. The scene with Jack Sparrow and Henry Turner surrounded by these sharks was filmed on a location where the production team was adding the island behind Jack and Henry to the background and on a small water tank location with a rowboat on a gimbal for direct interaction with people on water as well as filming the scene in a blue screen stage indoors while combining it with digital while blending in the computer-generated ocean with the live-action location with the sharks. All three sharks are created using CGI technology, blending in the three sharks with the live-action characters.
As Jack's crew is having a hard time seeking the Trident as it cannot be found on the map and Salazar and his undead crew are approaching, Captain Salazar tells Lesaro to summon the sharks in a plan to take revenge against Jack Sparrow just as the undead crew summons a dead shark to kill the pirate just as the crew deploys a hammerhead, a great white, and an additional shark to go after him. Salazar tells the first shark deployed towards the ocean to kill Jack Sparrow to which the great white shark comes to life and obeys the captain's orders, followed by a hammerhead shark and another ghost shark to which Murtogg and Mullroy notice Salazar's evil plans. The great white leaps out of the water and prepares to attack Henry Turner on the lifeboat just as the sharks begin surrounding the two. Henry then notices the hammerhead attacking the boat just as he uses his oar to attack it just as he pushes it back to the water just as Henry loses his footing, causing him to fall underwater.
The three ghost sharks swim beneath the boat and prepare to attack just as Henry swims above the surface to be rescued by Jack just as the great white prepares to eat the two but misses. Noticing the undead crew going after Jack and Henry just as Henry throws a coat into the ocean to distract the sharks, Jack tries to escape but ends up getting stuck as his foot sinks through the bottom of the lifeboat with the hammerhead and great white below him. Jack uses a grappling hook to fight off another shark to which Jack goes after Henry being chased by the shark to which Jack rescues Henry from the shark to which the two end up in an uncharted island. The sharks, however, have failed to defeat Jack and his crew.
As the Trident of Poseidon has been destroyed, all curses are broken, so it is likely that the sharks have been reverted back to their normal forms as it is shown that the crew of the Silent Mary returned from their undead forms to their mortal forms, as the sharks continued roaming around the seas freely.
Video game appearances
In the Pirates of the Caribbean world, ghost sharks have been added to the game as of May 2017 for the theatrical release of Dead Men Tell No Tales whenever the player plays as a character who originated from Dead Men Tell No Tales. There, the sharks appear leaping over a bridge in the same function the mermaids did when playing as a regular character, which the player must avoid. Colliding with the ghost sharks ten times unlocks the Ghost Shark character.
Additionally, the "Avoid jumping mermaids" missions have been renamed to "Avoid bridge hazards" missions, due to the update.
- According to producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the scene where the Ghost Sharks attack Jack's crew is the most entertaining scene filmed in any Pirates of the Caribbean film.
- Bonus feature Deconstructing the Ghost Sharks (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Blu-ray disc).