These huge fish have not been seen for upwards of 30 years, until now.
Basking sharks have disappeared from the waters of North America decades ago, but have recently begun to appear around the waters of California. These giant sharks feed on filter filters, that swim near the surface of the water and collect plankton in their open mouths.
Seen in California in April, Basking sharks less than 10 meters away were spotted eating a meal in Santa Monica Bay. This surprised the marine biologists because they were not sure that the peregrine sharks reappeared in these waters.
Although not a species at risk, peregrine sharks are a popular choice for commercial fishermen, as their fins are coveted for shark fin soup. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is asking the general public to help locate sharks if anyone sees them.
Marine biologists do not know if this marks a return for the species in California waters. The last time these sharks were seen in North America was in July 2015, when a large school of Basking sharks was seen in Monterey Bay.
Gentle Giants do not pose a threat to humans and they are not known to attack swimmers. These sharks are the second largest species of shark, after the whale shark. Some can grow up to 30 feet long!
Basking sharks roam the surface of the water capturing plankton and other microorganisms in their giant mouths.
It has never been known to eat something bigger than that, so it will be fine if you meet one in nature. The basking shark can filter about 500 tons of water per hour while feeding!
Although they can be nice and even cute for some people, if I see any of these great boys in the water, I have an instant panic attack. I mean, look at this boy.
These sharks swim mainly off the coast of Scotland. Because they are extremely rare, marine biologists have trouble following and marking their movements.
NOAA really says do not panic if you encounter one in the wild, because the peregrine sharks will be able to see it and quickly change direction or slow down.
However, even if they are nice and do not want to hurt you, I will stay out of the ocean for the foreseeable future.