A few days ago, this photo of an enormous, bloody Great White shark showed up in a Facebook post. The poster was Billabong XXL Director Bill Sharp, who, according to ESPN, was alerted by South African photographer Pierre Tostee. “Look what washed up on the beach in South Africa this week,” Sharpe wrote. Cue internet explosion.
Turns out, though, that it was a bit of a ruse. It was actually a photo of a female Great White from 2009, which didn’t wash up on the beach at all. The shark, measuring at at a ridiculous 4.3 meters (just over 14 feet), was caught up in the Natal Sharks Board’s nets at Zinkwasi Beach in KwaZulu-Natal. According to Geremy Cliff, head of the Natal Sharks Board, the shark was alive but weak when it was discovered. “Staff from the Sharks Board tried in vain to free her,” said Cliff in an interview with News24. “She was clearly confused and was found dead in the nets early the next morning.”
The shark was dragged to the beach and cut open as part of their research into feeding and reproduction. The dissection was filmed in Mossel Bay, which explains the woman holding the boom mic.