A YouTube video posted Monday appears to show a very large shark off the coast of Maine. The text posted with the video says it was taken off Higgins Beach in Scarborough, although it doesn’t say how far from shore and there is nothing in the video to confirm the location.

The video – which has a number of profanities by the narrator – was taken from a small boat and features running commentary about the creature. Commenters on the video indicate they think it is a great white shark, a species rarely seen in Maine waters.

However, the animal in the video is actually a basking shark, said Dr. James Sulikowski, a marine biology professor at the University of New England who studies sharks. Basking sharks are a large but harmless species that is common in Maine waters and frequently mistaken for great whites, the potentially dangerous predators that are more common to the south.

Shark sightings are not unheard of along Maine beaches in the summer, although attacks are extremely rare.

Last month, a man on a paddleboard reported seeing what he believed was a great white shark off the coast of Wells. Other people reported shark fins, and beaches in Wells were closed for a couple of hours as officials looked for the shark.

Maine has had one documented shark attack, according to the International Shark Attack File. No one was injured in that incident, however, when a diver used a video camera to fight the shark off.

James Patrick can be contacted at 791-8632 or at:


Twitter: Mesofunblog

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