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Huge Whale Shark May Have Died in Fishing Nets

(Pakistani fishermen use cranes to pull the carcass of a whale shark from the waters at a fish harbour in Karachi on February 7, 2012. The 40-feet whale, weighing about 6-7 tons, was found dead in Arabian Sea in the port city of Karachi.)

Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images

A 40 foot, 7 metric ton whale shark was found lifeless about 90 miles off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan. Fisherman needed five cranes to reel the shark out of water, before reportedly selling it for a whopping $18,750. 

The confusingly named whale shark—technically the ocean’s largest fish—is on the vulnerable species list and hunting in most areas is prohibited. The specimen found outside of Karachi was supposedly found dead in shallow waters, having been confused by the passage of large ships. But some say the leviathan’s death happened after it became tangled in fishermen’s nets.

Eating plankton and small fish, the whale shark’s filtration feeding makes it far from a threat to humans. Considering it’s size though, most would probably rather pose next to it than swim next to it.