Gigantic Animals That Are Practically Harmless To Humans

Try Not To Stare At The Mouth Of A Basking Shark

The basking shark is the second-largest fish in the ocean, after the whale shark, and it happens to be one of the gentlest creatures. The giant, gaping mouth may make some beg to differ.

a woman posing next to a replica of a basking shark in a museum
Stefan Sauer/DPA/AFP via Getty Images
Stefan Sauer/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

Basking sharks measure around 40-feet long and spend most of their time near the surface of the ocean with their mouths open. This species of shark is a filter feeder, which means they prefer to eat planktonic prey. According to Oceana, they filter up to four million pounds of water every hour while they feed.