Massive 24-foot shark washes up on UK beach

A 24-foot basking shark, the second-largest living fish in the sea, washed up on Maidens Beach in Scotland over the weekend. Initially, beachgoers thought they were seeing a whale, but upon closer inspection and with the help of animal research and rescue groups, it was identified as a basking shark. Onlooker Yolanda McCall, who initially tried to help the creature, realized it was dead and had a rope wrapped around its mouth and tail.

McCall contacted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDLMR) and Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) teams for assistance. After the carcass washed up onto the sand, teams used a forklift to pick up the massive fish and haul it off the beach.

Basking sharks can reach up to 30 feet in length. Despite their intimidating size and gaping jaws, these toothless sharks are harmless to humans and other fish as they only feed on plankton.

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