A huge basking shark, the second largest fish in the world, has washed up on the shore of Cornwall.

The 25ft animal carcass was discovered floating in the water at Chapel Point, Mevagissey. It was discovered by photographer Matthew Facey, who posted images of the shark to Facebook.

Marine experts say that although basking sharks are a common sight in our waters, to see a dead one is a "rare opportunity".

Basking sharks can reach up to 12m in length and mainly feed on plankton. The IUCN Red List has classified the species as vulnerable.

During spring and summer, basking sharks can be spotted at several hotspots around the UK, including the Hebrides, Isle of Man and south-west England.

The warmer water moves from the Atlantic into the coastal waters of the western UK and Ireland, encouraging greater marine activity.

Niki Clear from the Marine Strandings Network told the Plymouth Herald: "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."

Basking shark