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Nearly 1,400 basking sharks were spotted in aerial photos in a puzzling gathering off the East Coast of the U.S.

The unusual plankton-eating basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world — surpassed only by the whale shark — and have been generally believed to be solitary swimmers. The huge fish can reach 32 feet in length and weigh as much as five tons.

It is important to note that the article goes on to state the following:

An analysis of satellite and aerial photos found hundreds of them collected in a kind of shark conference in the waters off southern New England in 2013, according to a new study. Scientist suspect the gathering wasn’t related to mating. The animals were all adults or juveniles, according to the research published this month in the Journal of Fish Biology.

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