HomeOutdoorsNewsMassive, Healthy Shark Washes up Dead on Beach in Mysterious Event

Massive, Healthy Shark Washes up Dead on Beach in Mysterious Event

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: CameronGallant

In a bizarre incident, a huge, perfectly healthy shark washed up on a beach in the UK region of Cornwall.

According to reports, a Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network volunteer in Cornwall’s Perranporth coast found the shark on Dec. 7. While it’s not uncommon for marine mammals to wash up on shores, it’s a rare occurrence when sharks are found.

“The shark went for post mortem with the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) which discovered that the animal had live stranded,” a Marine Strandings Network spokesperson said about the event.

Wildlife experts determine the animal was alive when it washed onto shore

The term “live stranded” indicates that the animal sadly died while beached. This may have been a result of the shark looking for food in shallow waters. The sharks can become confused as they try to swim to deeper waters. As a result, they end up on the shores.

This means the creature died on land. When hunting in shallow waters, they may become disoriented meaning they struggle to find their way back to deeper waters.

However, after examination, the animal showed no visible injuries and a post-mortem exam revealed that it was “very healthy” when it died.

Although authorities aren’t exactly sure how it washed up, beached animals usually suffer from an underlying issue. In some instances, animals will lack the strength to navigate their way back to deeper waters.

In addition, strandings will happen if animals are suffering from an injury. However, the animal didn’t appear to have any significant injuries. The shark was also nearly ten feet long.

“They are sighted off our coast most years by water users and fishermen, and occasionally strand dead like this one did today,” the official Marine Strandings Network wrote in a Facebook post.

Less than 10 percent of beached sharks survive

Unfortunately, once a shark is stranded, it’s unlikely that the shark will survive. According to a recent study by researchers at the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil, less than 10 percent of beached sharks live through strandings.

However, this is hardly the first time a marine animal washed up on beaches in Cornwall. Several months ago, an extremely rare Greenland shark washed up on Newlyn beach in Cornwall. The shark was also an endangered species. Several days earlier, the Association for the Study and Conservation of the Selachians, had tweeted that someone had seen it off the coast of a French island, adding that the animal was “stuck in very little water” at the time.

After weeks of research, experts determined that the shark had passed away from meningitis— which was also something that experts had never seen before. Then, several months later, people found a dolphin without its tail in the same area.

At this time, researchers are still perplexed as to why some areas have higher rates of marine animal strandings.