Large tiger shark washes ashore on Nantucket, but only briefly

A large tiger shark carcass washed shore on Nantucket off Cape Cod, Mass., Tuesday, in a rare event that piqued the interest of scientists.

Unfortunately, the shark washed back to sea despite the efforts of beachgoers to secure the apex predator.

“This is really early to see this species in the area,” shark researcher John Chisholm explained Friday via X. “If you find it please let me know so we can perform a necropsy.”

Chisholm was responding to multiple social-media reports by the Nantucket Current, including the accompanying video post that shows a man trying to pull the massive shark ashore by its tail fin.

“An unusual & sad sight on the south shore this week,” the Nantucket Current stated. “It is relatively rare to see a tiger shark in the waters around Nantucket, and especially in spring when water temperatures are still low.”

Tiger sharks, named for the vertical stripes on their bodies, are found in tropical to warm-temperate waters around the world. They’re among the world’s largest sharks and can measure to about 18 feet.

Tiger sharks are opportunistic predators and expert ambush hunters. According to the Florida Museum, they are second only to great white sharks “in terms of the number of reported attacks on humans.”

As to why the shark might have been off Nantucket in the spring, the Nantucket Current cited a recent study by NOAA and the University of Miami that “found that warming ocean waters had expanded tiger sharks’ seasonal distribution in the northwest Atlantic.”

Tiger sharks are much more likely to be spotted off Florida at this time of year.

–Image via the Nantucket Current

Story originally appeared on For The Win