It shouldn't really be news that weird stuff washes up on the beach in Australia on the regular.
The Pacific Ocean is huge, filled with dangerous and delicious animals and has about 4,000 kilometres worth of seaboard to hit, so it's basically a guarantee that some of the oddest stuff in the sea is going to turn up from time to time.
Credit: Marine Rescue NSW
Still, the staff at the Marine Rescue office in Shellharbour, a coastal town in the Illawarra district south of Sydney, were somewhat taken aback to find a shark's head stuff with cigarette ends impaled on their fence when they turned up for work on Sunday morning.
Obviously, the shark didn't impale itself on the fence - unless it had a 50 a day fag habit, which seems unlikely. More possible is that it was placed their quite deliberately by a member of the public, though why they might want to do that is beyond me.
It turned out that it was beyond the staff as well.
"Whoever caught the shark brought it back to the boat ramp and cleaned it, and cut the head off," said Bruce Mitchell of Marine Rescue New South Wales. "Maybe someone else came there during the night, found it and thought they'll have a bit of fun. That's one possibility."
According to Bruce - classic Aussie name - the whole animal would have weighed somewhere around 70 kilograms, so whoever stuck it on the fence must have had some serious help.
The shark in question is a mako shark and was relatively recently taken out of the water - as recently as Saturday, say officials from Marine Rescue NSW. In its mouth, bafflingly, were cigarette ends and slices of pizza.
Richard O'Connor, commander of the Marine Rescue unit at Shellharbour, told Australian media that it was 'either a joke or a misdirected statement' and not a 'vicious attack'.
"We certainly don't expect the community to look at us and think we deserve something like that," he added.
"It's a kick in the guts for our committed volunteers who give up their time to save lives on the water," posted the local Marine Rescue unit on Facebook in response to the incident.
The Marine Rescue team consists of 33 people, the majority of whom are volunteers, and are on hand to assist sailors and swimmers when they come into difficulties in the water.
They have not received any threats regarding the incident and did not report it to police.