An astonishing number of great white sharks have been spotted off a popular California shoreline, leaving beachgoers to wonder why the juvenile predators are seemingly lingering in the region.
The sharks were spotted at around 6 p.m. Tuesday night off Sunset Beach in Huntington Beach, according to the L.A. Times. A Huntington Beach Police Department helicopter observed no less than 13 white sharks, which measured between six and 10 feet in length, and were feeding in an area just 50 feet from the shoreline. There were no swimmers or surfers in the area at the time the sharks were sighted, though the great whites’ presence was reported to Huntington Beach lifeguards.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) May 15, 2015
The relatively small size of the great whites marks them as immature juveniles, and they are hardly the first to be spotted in the region. As the Inquisitr previously reported, a group of six white sharks were sighted on May 11 swimming near Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. A local fire patrol boat investigated the sharks, and while it was initially difficult to identify how many were in the area, observers were able to tally the great whites from the air. Police who were on hand brought along a GoPro, and after submerging it on the end of a boat hook, were able to film several of the sharks.
— HuffPostUKTech (@HuffPostUKTech) May 15, 2015
Though it is impossible to know for certain whether any of the same sharks were involved in both sightings, young great whites have been making their presence known recently along the California coastline. Earlier this year, the sharks made headlines when they moved unusually close to beaches, at times swimming alongside surfers. Though it isn’t known for certain what has caused this behavior, some researchers have asserted that warmer pockets of water have lured the young great whites closer than usual to populated shores.
— Michael Knox (@mickknoxx) May 21, 2015
No swim advisories or warnings have been posted at Sunset Beach as a result of the shark sightings, according to KCRA. While some of the sharks, at 10-feet-long, may be approaching a size at which they could pose a hazard to beachgoers, the smaller great whites do not, subsisting on a diet of fish and showing little if any interest in humans.
[Image: Huntington Beach Police Department via L.A. Times]