Huge Shark in Irish Harbor Mere Feet From Paddle-Boarder and Children

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: October 23, 2022
© Martin Prochazkacz/
Share this post on:
Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

There’s nothing more terrifying than the thought of a shark getting close to those in the water. Someone was paddleboarding in Portrush Harbour in Northern Ireland when everyone on shore started screaming. 

Most people were standing on an overlook and a group of children was on the sandy shore. Little did the paddleboarder know, a giant basking shark was combing the area. In the dark, murky water, the animal is hard to spot. 

The second-biggest fish in the world, the basking shark, is a filter feeder that consumes small, planktonic prey, just like the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, and the world’s largest animal, the great whales. 

The basking shark can appear menacing due to its 40-foot length and resemblance to predatory sharks, yet it is actually extremely harmless. They may also dive deeper for food. They spend the majority of their time at the surface, swimming with their incredibly wide mouths open to filter out their favored prey.

All of these onlookers, whether in the water or watching from the side got the show of a lifetime. Most people don’t get the opportunity to see a basking shark this close to the shore. Of course, due to their gentle nature, the shark didn’t hurt anyone and was swimming in the area for about four hours. 

Biggest Fish in the World: Basking Shark
The basking shark can appear menacing due to its 40-foot length and resemblance to predatory sharks, yet it is actually harmless.

©Martin Prochazkacz/

A Gentle Giant

Great white sharks and basking sharks are frequently confused. The basking shark’s enormous, more than 3-foot-long jaw is the main distinction. They also have extensive gill holes that surround their entire heads, and they use dozens of gill rakers to feed through these slits. 

The basking shark often has smaller eyes and is considerably longer and thinner than great whites. Basking sharks have skin that is scaly and covered in mucous, and their tails have a characteristic crescent form. 

On top, they are black, brown, or blue, and on their bellies, the color fades to white. They have a frightening visage that has alarmed many individuals throughout time. Unlike the infamous great white sharks, basking sharks are some of the most passive, gentle, and harmless of the species.

As their main source of food and diet, basking sharks feed mostly on plankton while swimming with their mouths open. In addition to the whale shark and megamouth shark, it is one of three sharks that consume plankton. The ability of basking sharks to close their mouths is a frequently asked subject, and the answer is yes. They must in order to use their gills to filter out extra water.

A comment on the video from Ireland reads, “You could’ve hopped in and swam beside it albeit the freezing water.” It truly shows how decile these gentle giants are towards humans. Take a look at the video below, along with videos of other ocean animals getting too close for comfort.

Up Next:

More from A-Z Animals

The Featured Image

Biggest Shark: Basking Shark
A basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus, swimming near Coll Island, Scotland. The most impressive feature of the basking shark is its mouth, which opens up to 1 meter wide.
© Martin Prochazkacz/

Share this post on:
About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.