Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

'Huge shark fin' spotted in Cornwall 'almost certainly not what it looks like'

A picture of a ‘huge shark fin’ spotted off the coast of Cornwall probably shows an altogether less scary marine creature, according to experts.

Jacquie Williams, a lifelong Cornish resident, took the picture of the supposedly spooky sight in the water at Gunwalloe, near the most southerly point on the British mainland, this morning.

Her son-in-law posted the snap on social media, warning anyone who fancied a dip in the sea to take extra care.

He wrote: ‘The photo was taken at around 11am at Gunwalloe from about 30 metres-ish.

‘I can’t say what type of shark it is but it doesn’t look like the average basking shark so thought I would just mention its presence just in case.

‘Either way, dangerous or not, it’s unusual to see any type of shark inshore this time of year and with a fin that size.’

One local agreed with his concern about the scale of the fin, saying it looked too big for ‘the average basking shark’ – a sight that is relatively common in the area.

But an expert from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue suggested an alternative explanation for the abnormally large point poking out from the water’s surface.

He told the MailOnline: ‘I believe by looking at the photo that the seal is asleep in the water with its head upright.’

The behaviour, known as ‘bottling’, allows the blubbery creatures to rest when they’re tired out after a long day foraging in the sea.

Concern over sharks in Cornwall is not completely unjustified, though.

Last August, a woman was bitten on the leg by a blue shark while out diving off the coast near Penzance.

It was believed to be the first attack of its kind in British waters for 175 years.

The victim, who was treated by the ambulance, said: ‘Despite how the trip ended, it was amazing to see such majestic creatures in the wild and I don’t for a second want this freak event to tarnish the reputation of an already persecuted species.’

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