School of 1,400 Basking Sharks Spotted off US North Atlantic Coast
Marine biologists have been left baffled by the appearance of large schools, comprised of up to 1,400 basking sharks, in the waters off the northeastern US.
The numbers were spotted by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) while examining 40 years worth of aerial photographs. The study, published in the Journal of Fish Biology, found that multiple schools of basking sharks had gathered in the North Atlantic between 1980 and 2013. The groups ranged in size from 35 to 1,400.
Basking sharks are the world's second largest fish and can grow as long as 32 feet. They migrate huge distances and are often seen close to the water’s surface with their large mouths open to filter zooplankton, the sharks’ primary food source, from seawater. They are not considered a danger to humans.