Gruesome Photos Show Great White Sharks Devouring Humpback Whale Carcass

Great white sharks have been spotted feeding off the carcass of a dead humpback whale near Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

On Monday, shark biologist John Chisholm shared some gruesome images of the incident, which occurred in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

"Several white sharks sighted today off MA including one enormous individual feeding on a dead humpback whale. The two others seem tiny in comparison. One of the smaller ones is towing a recently deployed tag," Chisholm posted on Facebook.

The biologist told Newsweek that the largest of the white sharks he saw measured more than 17 feet in length. He also spotted several smaller white sharks and blue sharks feeding off the whale. The photos below are courtesy of Chisholm.

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In another Facebook post on Tuesday, Chisholm said: "One of the hardest things to communicate to people is how massive white sharks can be. Until you see one in person, it's hard to appreciate the girth which may be more impressive than length."

"These photos from yesterday, with the whale for scale, do help put it into perspective."

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Staff from local boat tour agency Captain John Boats also captured images and video footage of the deceased whale.

"This afternoon was a trip for the record books! We started off our trip by taking a look at a whale who was unfortunately deceased," Captain John Boats said in a Facebook post on Monday.

What a beautiful day for a whale watch! Our morning whale watch was filled with humpbacks! We started off with a couple of solo whales and ended our trip watching a mom and calf while the calf was...

"While we were there 2 enormous white sharks came to feast! We stood by while the research team collected video of these two doing what sharks do best!"

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This isn't the first time this year that sharks have been spotted congregating and feeding off of a dead whale.

In March, Hilton Head charter captain Chip Michalove, who runs the expedition business Outcast Sport Fishing, witnessed a great white shark feeding frenzy after a North Atlantic right whale was found dead around 15 miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The 11-year-old whale, known as "Cottontail," had died several months after becoming entangled in fishing gear in October 2020 off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO.)

After finding out about the dead whale, Michalove planned an expedition to reach the animal and witness the feeding event.

"I've grown up here and never had the opportunity of watching the circus of the dead whale get eaten. I feel bad for the whale, I know there's a lot of interest in their survival, but I couldn't help but take advantage of the situation. There's no question if the opportunity came up again I would drop anything in the world to witness it," he previously told Newsweek.

Great white shark feeding off humpback whale
Image showing a great white shark feeding on a humpback whale carcass near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Captain John Boats