Monster 7.5m shark washes up off coast

A giant 7.5-metre-long shark has been discovered floating upside down off the Cornish coast in the UK - and scientists are keen to get closer to the massive beast.

The animal is believed to be a basking shark, and was spotted by photographer Matthew Facey as he was filming around the coast on Sunday (local time).

Video shows the shark washed up on the rocks, and scientists say it's a "rare opportunity" to learn more about the species.

"The shark was reported to us early last night," Niki Clear, from the Marine Strandings Network at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, told CornwallLive.

"We didn't want to send anyone down there at night, so we decided to hold off until today and cross our fingers that it was still there.

"Once our team of volunteers get to the shark, they will try to take measurements of its length and fins etc. and make sure to take plenty of photographs of it. Sadly this one is quite decomposed already. But all the information helps us analyse it and learn more about basking sharks."

Ms Clear says the basking shark is "an extremely interesting species to study".

"Because basking sharks only eat plankton, they can help to show the overall marine health," she says.

"This part of the world is a hotspot for basking sharks, but when they die, their carcasses sink, so they don't often wash up. This means that this is a very rare opportunity for us."