A dead shark turned up in the surf at Menemsha Beach Sunday afternoon, attracting a small crowd of gawkers. Word about the shark first surfaced when Menemsha Texaco sent out a picture via Instagram shortly after 1 p.m. By about 2:30 p.m. a crowd had gathered on the beach with many people taking pictures.

Onlookers gathered after word went out about shark. — Timothy Johnson

Although it was not confirmed, the shark is believed to be a basking shark. The creature is about 12 to 15 feet long and had fishing line wrapped around its nose and was releasing some blood into the water. The shark was awash in the shallows near shore just east of the public beach.

The second largest fish species on the planet, basking sharks typically migrate to New England in spring to feed on plankton, according to the New England Aquarium website. Adult sharks are typically 20 to 30 feet long, while juveniles are 12 to 14 feet.