Scientists Baffled by Basking Sharks Joining in Enormous Groups

Scientists Baffled by Basking Sharks Joining in Enormous Groups

A strange phenomenon is taking place in the marine world and marine biologists are having a hard time trying to reason out why this is going on. What do we mean by this? Well, for the past couple of decades hundreds upon hundreds of basking sharks join together in order to survive summer and fall. The number of sharks that end up in these groups range from 30 to 1400, depending on various factors.

How did it start?

This was first seen to take place back in 1980. When scientists were looking for endangered whales they came upon one group of basking sharks. In the amount of time that has passed a number of other groups have been found.

In order to survive this species feeds off of zooplankton as they swim. Usually they are very easy to see from a boat or from the air since they are pretty large creatures, ranging between 6 and 8 meters. However, they tend to dive into deep waters as seasons change making people wonder why do they do that.

Marine biologists have found out that these sharks come up from deep sea waters when the surface sea water temperature is higher, temperature that leads to more chlorophyll, which means that these sharks have enough food.

From what data they recorded, scientists are saying that these sharks group together without any competition between them in areas where there are high level of zooplankton primarily for feeding purposes. There may be other reasons for these gatherings, such as mating, but marine biologists still have no data that could suggest that.

On the bright side, we know that the reason that they come together is a peaceful one but we will still have to wait for more data to be recorded so that we can determine whether or not there are other reasons to these huge gatherings of basking sharks.


I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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