Basking sharks are big. They're actually the second largest species of fish after the whale shark. This one measured to be about 21 feet long, and weighs over 7,700 pounds. But basking sharks are friendly beasts. They get their name for their slow-moving tendencies. They float through all of the world's temperate oceans, filter-feeding on tiny organisms like plankton.
According to a post on Museum Victoria's Facebook page, the shark was caught up in the ship's trawling net and was dead by the time crew pulled it aboard.
For scientists at the museum, it's a rare opportunity to study the creature, which is found very occasionally in the southern hemisphere. Researchers have already taken samples and measurements of the carcass, and will use it as a model to create a full-scale recreation of the species for an exhibit.