A shark washed up on a popular beach in the UK yesterday and was still alive, according to those who discovered it.
Unfortunately, sharks that end up out of the sea don’t tend to get on so well, so the poor creature is now dead, but it’s still an interesting thing to see.
Contrary to what you might think, there are plenty of sharks in the waters around the UK.
Commonly, there are some big ones like porbeagles, mako sharks and thresher sharks in the waters around Britain, but you’re very unlikely to see one, let alone get attacked by one.
To be fair, you’re very unlikely to be attacked by any shark at all - even this absolute monster - because despite being widely feared, they’re not actually that interested in humans for the most part.
Anyway, whilst British waters aren’t exactly renowned for sharks, certainly not the most famous ones such as the great white, it’s important to remember that they are out there.
Let this incident serve as that reminded for you.
The shark, which reportedly measured about six-feet, washed up on Lepe beach, a popular strand in Hampshire on the Solent.
Pictures of the shark were shared on Facebook by British Big Game Fishing, leading to much speculation about what type of shark it actually is.
ITV later said that it had been identified by marine biologists as a smalltooth sand tiger shark.
One person commented: “Looks exhausted.
“Obviously came into the shallows to feed, and couldn’t swim back out into the deep.”
Another said: “No more dips in the sea, thank you.”
Come on – the shark wouldn’t have been interested in snacking on humans even if it was alive.
Another slightly more compassionate comment read: “S*** man. Gutted about it dying.
“Does go to show there could be anything out there though man.”
That’s certainly true.
There are around 40 species of shark native to UK waters, even if it’s thought to be unlikely that the great whites are lurking off our local beaches.
However, it’s not impossible – even more so as seas continue to warm.
Last year, Dr Harley Newton, a chief veterinary scientist from Ocearch, told us: “There is definitely a strong chance of a white shark swimming to the UK,
“We are, as a result of climate change, seeing some of the first shifts in their use of habitat.
“Some species are moving slightly northern to get to some cooler waters but overall that’s not a huge shift yet."
Dr Newton continue: “When we land-based animals think of the environment in two dimensions, we forget the fact that the ocean is incredibly deep and vast.
“Just because we don’t see them on the surface, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t using the hundreds of metres beneath.”
That’s a lovely calming thought to have next time you go into the sea, isn’t it?
Just remember – there might not be great whites hanging around in numbers just yet, but we definitely do have orcas in some parts, and they’re arguably more terrifying.
Seriously though, you’re very unlikely to fall afoul of those, either.