Whale shark spotted off the coast of Palm Jumeirah
Another whale shark (or another type of shark?) has been spotted in Dubai – details here…
A video posted on social media yesterday shows what looks like a medium-sized shark swimming very close to one the fronds of Palm Jumeirah. It has caused curiosity among residents, however reports and other footage have suggested it was a whale shark.
The 20-second video, shot by Dubai resident Mark Moody, appears to capture the slow movements of a shark in shallow waters.
Some residents have taken to social media to share their nervousness about the footage.
— Gina Johnson (@ginacpjohnson) January 20, 2016
“I swim and surf here a lot, says Gina, “and my husband is a daily surfer and we’ve never seen sharks. It’s pretty unusual for them to hang around in water that is this warm.”
But Gina needn’t worry if it is a whale shark. While intimidatingly large – they can reach lengths of up to 12 metres, the same length as a large school bus – whale sharks are actually gentle giants, and eat plankton rather than people.
While the Arabian Gulf is home to several species of small sharks, ultimately the closest encounter most UAE residents will ever have with a shark will be from behind the safety of the glass at the Dubai Mall Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
This isn’t the first time a whale shark has been spotted in Dubai. In August 2015 a whale shark was spotted swimming in Dubai Marina’s waters on Friday afternoon, giving onlookers quite the surprise:
Whale Shark chilling at Dubai Marina pic.twitter.com/GY4fOtvh5l
— Khalid | خالد (@kharta3) August 27, 2015
WHALE SHARK FACTS
– The pattern of spots around the shark’s gill are unique to each individual, similar to our fingerprints.
– A whale shark’s mouth is over a metre wide.
– Their only known predator is humans.
– They live for over 70 years.