Great White Shark Washes Ashore in Mass., Death 'Remains a Mystery'

A great white shark washed up onto the shore of a beach in Westport, Massachusetts Saturday morning. The 1,600 pound dead animal's appearance prompted officials to close beaches nearby.

The great white shark washed up on South Shore Beach, and the infamous 13-foot predator was first discovered by fisherman Gary Severa, according to local news station WCVB-TV. Although the animal was dead for an undetermined period of time before being found, the 65-year-old man was still frightened.

"It was pretty scary standing next to that thing … it made your adrenaline go cause he's stone dead, but my God, it has 'Jaws' written all over it," Severa told the local news, referring to the 1975 film.

At first, Severa thought the great white shark was just a piece of driftwood, but upon closer inspection, he found it to be a dead predator. The cause of death continues to elude officials currently.

"[The shark's death] will probably remain a mystery," Dr. Greg Skomal, a marine biologist from the state's Division of Marine Fisheries, told The expert revealed that the shark had nothing in its stomach when it died, but that the cause of death is still uncertain.

"The problem is the animal was so badly abraised by sand and rocks that it's hard to tell if it's had any interaction with fishing gear," he added.

Although no other sharks were spotted, officials closed down South Shore Beach and Goosewing Beach for swimmers. When sharks of any kind are spotted, authorities don't take chances- they closed Nauset Beach at Cape Cod after a few great white sharks were spotted close to shore.

In a similar situation, officials closed 10 miles of Cape Cod beaches earlier this summer after a great white feeding frenzy was recorded. Then, they said it was "not safe to go back in the water" until the sharks had cleared.

The sharks are attracted to the beaches because of the seals they hunt there; there have been more sightings recently, though.

"On average, in general, we have noticed a trend upward [of shark sightings]," Dr. Skomal explained.