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Coney Island beach closed due to shark sightings

The species of shark has not yet been identified.

The basking shark looks like a monster but is relatively harmless to humans.

Wikimedia Commons

The beach near the pier on Coney Island has been closed after reports of shark sightings on Tuesday.

New York City Parks and Recreation closed the beach as a precaution after New York Aquarium authorities spotted sharks close to the shore, according to NBC4.

John Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium, said identifying the species of shark is “impossible” with the photos and video available. Dohlin also said the fish could be basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus), which are pretty much harmless to humans despite their menacing appearance. As the world’s second largest shark, basking sharks can grow up to 40 feet in length and weigh up to 5 tons, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Dohlin said the sharks off the coast of Coney Islandare most likely looking for food.

NYPD aviation and harbor units are still checking out the area, according to NBC4.

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