A monster great white shark is feared to be prowling off the British coast after two dead dolphins were found at a popular beach resort.
The dolphins’ corpses were discovered at Great Yarmouth in Norfolk – one, near the rollercoaster on the south beach – at the weekend.
They are the latest in a string of bodies mysteriously washed up in recent years, with a half-eaten 4ft-long seal found nearby in 2017.
Massive teeth marks had been gouged in the seal’s flesh, where something lurking in the deep had apparently ripped into it.
Great whites, which prey on dolphins, porpoises and seals, live for 70 years and don’t start breeding until they’re about fifteen.
It is now feared that one of the sharks could be prowling off the coast close to favourite holiday beaches, which will be packed this summer.
In May 2016, a half-eaten, 5ft-long porpoise was found on a beach at Happisburg, Norfolk. And five years earlier, three porpoises with ‘Jaws’-style bite marks in their flesh had been washed up.
There had also been a series of mystery deaths of seals, which had suffered ugly injuries off the Norfolk coast in 2010.
Great Yarmouth resident Stephen McHugh, 24, said: "It’s pretty frightening – it can’t be a coincidence that something out there keeps attacking and eating seals, dolphins and porpoises.
"If it is a great white, let’s hope it doesn’t come into the warmer shallow water close to the shore when people are on the beaches in the summer.
"Great whites can live for decades so it could have been out there for years, and if it’s found a mate, they could be starting a family.
"It doesn’t bear thinking about."
He added: "There are plenty of seals, porpoises, dolphins and even small whales in the North Sea for them to survive on."
Great Yarmouth is one of a number of popular holiday seaside towns along the Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk coasts, including Cromer, Cleethorpes and the luvvies paradise of Southwold.
The first dolphin was found dead on Saturday morning on Yarmouth’s Pleasure beach, while the second was discovered yesterday afternoon.
Gorleston coastguards had received reports on Friday that a pod of dolphins was spotted off the Great Yarmouth coast.
A predator like a great white would shadow a pod, hoping to pick off the weaker and smaller dolphins.
The half-eaten seal was found in February 2017 by a young couple out for a romantic walk along Great Yarmouth beach.
Lauren Gillies, 25, and her partner Matty Burgess, 29, were strolling arm-in-arm just after lunch when they spotted what they initially thought was a baby seal in need of rescuing.
Lauren, from Great Yarmouth, said at the time: "Initially my reaction was ‘Oh my God a baby seal I need to help it back in the sea’. And then as I got closer I realised it was chewed in half and it freaked me out."
She added: "We were stunned, honestly we just couldn ‘t make out what had eaten it. It was totally baffling and gruesome. We do often go beach walking but we ‘ve never come across this before."
It was an almost exact repeat of the discovery in May 2016 of a dead porpoise washed ashore at Happisburg, with tell-tale chunks of flesh torn from round its mouth.
At first, terrified beachgoers thought the animal might be a shark and panic-stricken messages were posted on social media.
The mutilated corpse was quickly identified as a harbour porpoise, but fears quickly grew that it had been attacked by a hungry great white lurking in shallow water along the coast.
Locals claimed the ripped flesh around its mouth came from it fighting desperately to fend off a huge predator.
Many expressed fears that a great white, which grow to over 20 feet, had set up home just off the coast.
Residents near the beach at Happisburg stared anxiously out to sea looking for telltale fins of sharks cleaving the surface.
In 2011, the two porpoises washed up on Winterton beach, near Great Yarmouth, had similar ‘Jaws’ bite marks in their flesh.
Local Linzi Smith, 29, and her fiancé Steve Hunt, 36, found one of those chewed-up porpoises. Marine experts said at the time that the savage bite marks meant it almost certainly had been attacked and killed by a huge shark or killer whale.
The pair made their gruesome find just days after another walker, Hollie Moran, 24, found another 5ft porpoise with chunks taken out of its head and tail on the beach two miles away at Horsey.
At the time, Dr Ken Collins of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton said they had ‘undoubtedly’ suffered shark bites.
He added "It could be a great white.
"The sea around the UK is habitable for big sharks."
But Norfolk naturalist Percy Trett said he believed it might be a killer whale.
"Killer whales do occur off the Scottish coast and occasionally come down the North Sea," he said previously.
"They will attack porpoises and seals."
However, after the discovery of the seal at Great Yarmouth last year, people were urged to calm down by Hollie Stephenson, animal carer at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary.
She said there might be a less chilling explanation for the find.
"The seal population has been booming in recent years and most likely the cause of this was an adult seal being possessive and marking their
territory, particularly as this is now breeding season," she said.
"They will do this by grasping the seal pup by the scruff of the neck and spinning them round in a spiral motion – I believe that this would be the
most likely cause of this seal carcass."
How great whites can detect just ONE drop of blood
Great white sharks eat 11 tons of food a year, while the average human eats closer to half a ton.
Sharks have been swimming in the ocean for more than 400 million years. Whale sharks are the world’s biggest fish.
Sharks mature slowly and reach reproductive age anywhere from 12 to 15 years.
Great whites can detect one drop of blood in 25 gallons (100 litres) of water, and can sense even tiny amounts of blood in the water up to three miles away.
Your odds of getting attacked and killed by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067.
In a lifetime, you are more likely to die from fireworks or lightning.
In contrast, more than 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans.
The film Jaws was based on a real incident in 1916, where four people were killed by a shark off the coast of New Jersey.
There are more than 465 different types of sharks in the world.
Sharks predate the dinosaurs by 200 million years.
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