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A massive seven-foot shark cleared a popular beach and shut it down for days after the beast was spotted in shallow waters off the shore in Hyères, near Toulon, southern France.
Believed to be a female blue shark – which can grow up to a whopping 12 feet – police cleared the beach on Wednesday, July 27, when the shark was first spotted, as blues are known to go for humans and boats.
Researchers initially believed the shark came to shallow waters to give birth, but then began to speculate over the beast's health after noting the animal was swimming around in circles in the same patch of water close to the beach, Connexion France reports.
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According to Nicolas Ziani, founder of the Marseille Group for Shark Studies, there are "thousands" of blue sharks in Mediterranean waters in the summer but it is uncommon to see one so close to land.
He told France3: "In 17 years of experience, I have never seen this.
“For more than 24 hours that it has been there, we do not understand its behavior.
“Its movements are repetitive, without purpose, like if he was disconnected from his brain system.”
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On Saturday morning, the shark was found dead and was found on the rocks.
Ziani described the find as "pretty predictable'.
The scientist suggested the death could be put down to either a traumatic event – like an injury – or that something "had gone wrong on a neurological level" such as pathogen in the animal's brain. But he also said he can not know for sure.
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There is no autopsy planned, but the carcass will be analysed to search for wounds, and some tissue samples will be taken.
Ziani said: "We are not going to do an autopsy, as this would be very complicated. However, we will take some measures, see if there are any suspicious traces on the body."
The beach has now reopened to the public.
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