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This Great White Shark Washed Up Dead ... and Red?

What's going on here?

Massachusetts police were stumped when a 9-foot great white shark washed up dead on a beach. But according to Fox News, it wasn't just that the shark was dead that caught their attention.

Instead of having its usual white belly, this one was bright red.

According to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, who responded to the scene, a necropsy found that the shark had eaten three lead weights.

While it's possible that lead poisoning contributed to the death of the shark, the lead had nothing to do with its coloring. Neither did the red tide, which is currently wreaking havoc on marine life in Florida.

As Azula recently reported, the red tide is named for what occurs in the ocean when there's a large bloom of harmful algae.

It turns the sea a rusty red color.

The tide is responsible for the deaths of manatees, turtles, a whale shark and more on the Florida shores.

But it didn't turn this shark red.

According to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Facebook page, it was determined that the cause of the blush color was lividity.

That's when gravity makes blood pool on the undersides of freshly dead creatures. It typically goes away between eight and 12 hours, according to Science Direct, which means that this shark was found pretty soon after it died.

Its pooled blood was still visible through its white skin.

But even if the lead weights didn't cause this shark's red hue, it's alarming that it was discovered with so many toxic, unnatural objects in its stomach. The Boston Globe reported that the shark could have ingested them by eating off a fishing line. Lead weights are often used to weigh lines and nets down in the sea.

In any case, this rare red shark find is just a matter of timing.

We don't need to start calling great whites "great reds" any time soon.

dead red shark


Add your name right now to ban the trade of shark fins in the U.S. and protect our oceans with Oceana.

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