Tag Archives: basking sharks and sea monsters

Mr. Nature: the Basking Shark

Anyone who didn’t know better could be forgiven for freaking out at the sight of a 30-foot shark–especially if you’re in a kayak or a rowboat. But in fact, there’s nothing to fear.

Jambo, everybody, Mr. Nature here, with some more of God’s stuff. The basking shark is the world’s second-largest fish, right behind the much rarer whale shark. Not long ago there was a major basking shark fishery, but that had to be reined in when the sharks started getting scarce.

These enormous sharks eat plankton and tiny crustaceans, not people. Sometimes a dead basking shark will wash up on the beach, and because of the unusual way in which their boneless carcasses decay, they wind up being taken for mysterious sea monsters.

I’m Mr. Nature, I know about basking sharks; but in all honesty, if I were out there in my rowboat and one of these babies came along, I think I’d probably freak out, too.


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