Basking Shark Attacks: Different Aspects And Facts

The second-largest shark species, basking sharks, are goliaths. They are also considered megamouth sharks. These giants are docile and prefer to mind their own business. 

There have been no instances of attacks perpetrated by basking sharks. These are filter feeders and feed on gallons of plankton. They have tiny teeth that are insufficient to attack prey and chew them. 

Basking Shark Attacks
Image Credit: Basking Shark from Maxpixel

This article will focus on the attacking aspect of basking sharks. We will also shed light on facts associated with the subject matter to learn more about these slow-paced gentle giants.

Are basking sharks dangerous?

We usually have a preconceived notion about sharks: they are violent. Although we cannot completely deny it, this is not the entire truth.

All sharks are not dangerous to humans, and basking sharks are among them. Although they swim with their 3-foot wide mouth hanging open, giving them a terrifying appearance, these fish are completely safe.

In a nutshell, basking sharks are considered passive. Despite this, they have tough skin and a strong body. Hence, caution is advised when facing them.

Do basking sharks display aggression?

Every creature in this world is capable of showing aggression to a certain degree. And sharks almost always top the list of aggression. However, can this be stated for basking sharks?

Basking sharks do not show aggression unless they are not provoked. Unlike bull or great white sharks, basking sharks are not to be feared due to their voraciousness. Instead, these are peace-loving sharks that mind their own business while swimming underwater. 

Do basking sharks attack?

When we think of shark attacks, we imagine sharks attacking humans. Well, there are quite a few that are notorious for attacking humans. But can we categorize basking sharks similarly?

There have been no records found that show basking sharks as attackers. But yes, they attack planktons as they feed on them. 

Although basking sharks do not attack, they have been reported to attack boats and ships after being harpooned. As a result, these fish prefer to remain calm and docile if not provoked.

Do basking sharks attack humans?

Basking sharks are not carnivores. They primarily consume plankton. Is there any evidence of basking sharks attacking humans?

Basking sharks are non-threatening to humans. There is no evidence of these sharks attacking humans. In fact, basking sharks are mostly passive observers who tolerate divers and swimmers.

Nonetheless, the skin of basking sharks is covered in large dermal denticles that, if not avoided, can cause injuries. As a consequence, it is best to avoid these sharks.

Can a basking shark eat a human?

Image Credit: Basking-Shark-Scale-Chart by
Steveoc 86
(CC BY-SA 4.0) from Wikimedia

The 3-foot open mouth of a basking shark is probably the terrifying aspect. Can these sharks, however, consume humans?

In theory, a basking shark can consume a human. This is because a basking shark’s mouth can open enormously, lined with lots of tiny teeth. So, conceivably, a basking shark could eat at least one whole human.

Despite their ability, these sharks are relatively harmless to humans. They’re not going to eat them. There are also no reports of basking sharks ingesting humans. Another advantage of these sharks is that they are very sensitive to foreign objects and will swim away if they contact them.

Image Credit: Cetorhinus maximus by rossbeane (CC BY-SA 2.0) from Wikimedia

Basking shark attacks per year

Basking sharks are sharks that live in deep water. They are well-known for their calm demeanor and tolerance for humans.

Humans are not attacked by basking sharks. There have been no reports of these sharks attacking and eating people. As a result, there is no annual record of basking shark attacks.


So, this was the presentation on basking shark attacks. These are docile sharks and depend on planktons as the primary food source. Basking sharks do not attack humans, and they are quite passive. However, you never know what they can do if provoked!

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