Basking Sharks At the end of March/beginning of April, a group of approximately 1400 basking sharks were spotted off the coast of New England. Basking Sharks are the second largest fish on the planet (right after Whale Sharks) and are about 32 feet long. They are filter feeders and tend to live in the deep water.
Scientists are not exactly sure why the Basking Sharks are congregating. Is it for mating, protection, or food? Do they just want to catch a ballgame at Fenway? Are they waiting for the mother ship to get them off the planet?
I decided to send my team of Dolphin reporters to the East Coast to find out. It took them awhile to get there, but this morning in my inbox, I got this report from my top reporter:
We're here for the Plankton. Man, it's delicious.
These are not necessary the words spoken by Morris the Basking Shark, but his intention made through a series of gestures and tail wags. At first the Basking Sharks were nervous in our presence, but once we assured them that we would not eat them, they were happy to talk to dolphins.
Even though they are content down in the dark as they swam around with mouths wide open, they felt something different in the water. The temperature felt different and the food seemed different. Morris's pal, Thomas, even choked on a plastic bag.
They also felt the need to travel to the congregating place where they meet every few years. They wanted to figure out what was happening in their water and make plans for the future. They wondered if they should go to a new place where they had never been before.
They also wanted to socialize. Even though they enjoy the lack of light in the deep water, they wanted to be reassured that the sun was still shining and that the plankton still tasted good. They soon found out the sun still shone and the plankton was delicious. After several parties where much plankton was consumed, the Basking Sharks decided to return to the deep where they felt most at home.