An 8-foot shark was found on the beach at Watch Hill in Westerly, Rhode Island, on Feb. 7, surprising beachgoers walking the sandy shore.

Can you imagine walking along the beach on a chilly winter day only to be greeted by an enormous porbeagle shark on the shoreline?

That is exactly what happened in Watch Hill this week and the photos are unbelievable.

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A perfectly preserved yet completely dead 8-foot shark was discovered sitting on the sand at East Beach in Westerly. Researchers from the Atlantic Shark Institute called it "a rare opportunity" when they were asked to come retrieve it.

The photo just proved how shocking it must have been to walk up on this massive ocean animal. It almost looks fake the way it's sitting, perfectly posed on the sand.

There was nothing fake about this porbeagle shark, however, and researchers are ready to find out exactly what happened to her.

As the Atlantic Shark Institute explained on social media, the shark appeared after the tide went out, but her cause of death is still unknown.

They took the 8-foot, 8-inch female to the NOAA/Apex predator cooler in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and will perform a necropsy to learn more.

Cold water is not expected to be the cause, as porbeagle sharks enjoy cooler water temperatures and often stay in northern waters when other sharks head south so they can have more food for themselves.

This lady looks like she could eat an awful lot of food, so no wonder she was still here.

Teams from the Atlantic Shark Institute and Mystic Aquarium will work together on the necropsy to learn more about this shark's life and hope to get some vital information about New England's sharks in the process.

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Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis

Endangered Sea Turtles Released Back into Atlantic Ocean

The Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Team saw another set of rehabilitated animals returned to their ocean home recently with the release of five endangered sea turtles down in North Carolina.
One loggerhead sea turtle and four Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were the aquarium's part of a 26-sea-turtle release from four different animal rescues across the Northeast. See these endangered animals as they returned to their ocean home after months of treatment for their cold-stunning damage suffered in Cape Cod Bay.

Gallery Credit: Nancy Hall

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