Advert

Latest

Skull Wearing Sunglasses On Family's Mantelpiece Turns Out To Be Man Missing For Eight Years
published at38 minutes ago
Advert
Advert

Most Popular

Advert
News

Massive 18ft Shark Passes By Swimmer Off Scottish Coast

Massive 18ft Shark Passes By Swimmer Off Scottish Coast

A swimmer came within inches of a huge 18ft shark off the coast of Scotland.

Ryan Leith was out exploring the waters around the Shetland Islands last month when he came across an enormous basking shark.

Speaking about the close encounter, the 48-year-old said he was ready to pack up and go home empty-handed when he saw the creature gliding through the water.

Advert

He said: "I had just about given up when I saw not one, but two sharks just off the coastline at Fladdabister.

"They were feeding on the abundant plankton that blooms in the sea around Shetland during the summer.

"I stopped the boat and dropped the anchor. The shark seemed to be interested in the boat and swam towards it almost immediately.

Ryan came within inches of a basking shark off the coast of Scotland. Credit: Pen News
Ryan came within inches of a basking shark off the coast of Scotland. Credit: Pen News
Advert

"I took a lot of photos of it on the surface and then, as it seemed quite relaxed, I went over the side with my snorkelling gear on."

Now, despite looking like ruthless predators, basking sharks feed on plankton and it's rare that they will attack a human.

But that wouldn't really make most people feel any better if they saw one coming straight towards them, like Ryan did.

In footage captured using a GoPro, the basking shark can be seen emerging from the murky water and passing by with its huge jaw gaping.

More Like ThisMore Like This

1 of 6
News

Chilled Man Bitten By Shark Holds Onto It Until Help Arrives

Advert

Ryan, a port controller for Lerwick Port Authority, said he believes it probably measured about 18ft long.

He said: "I waited close to the boat and filmed the shark with my GoPro as it passed by.

The powerful creature emerged from the murky waters with its jaw open wide. Credit: Pen News
The powerful creature emerged from the murky waters with its jaw open wide. Credit: Pen News

"It was great to be in the water with such a large and powerful animal.

Advert
News

Surfer Fights Off Shark By Punching It In The Eye And Telling It To 'F*** Off'

published at8 months ago

"The plankton it was feeding on limited the underwater visibility so it would only appear out of the gloom when it was a few metres away from me."

Ryan added: "It was quite exciting."

After the whale shark, the basking shark is the second-largest extant shark in the world.

And while for some time their future looked very bleak, Ryan says this sighting is a sign that they might be thriving in the area.

Advert

He said: "In the past - the 1950s and '60s - they were hunted around Shetland by Norwegian fishermen for their livers, which contain large amounts of oil.

"Thankfully now they are a protected species and their numbers are increasing.

"There have been a good number of basking sharks sightings around Shetland over the past few weeks which is great."

Featured Image Credit: Pen News

Topics: Environment, Sharks, Scotland

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Dad Fills Lounge With 26,000 Plastic Balls To Hide Daughter's Birthday Presents
published ata day ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Costa Coffee Is Selling Terry's Chocolate Orange Hot Chocolate This Christmas

published ata day ago
Woman Moves Into Tent After Losing Job At McDonald's During Lockdown

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]