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10 scary animals that are totally harmless

By: Bryan Nelson on Aug. 25, 2010, 11:35 a.m.
A diver swims alongside a basking shark

Photo: Chris Gotschalk/Wiki Commons (public domain)

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Basking sharks

Seeing this shark's wide-open mouth bearing down on you might seem like a diving nightmare — until you realize it's just a basking shark.

Unlike their carnivorous brethren, basking sharks are filter feeders. They prefer the taste of zooplankton and couldn't chomp down on you if they wanted to. A diver lucky enough to encounter one of these elegant beasts may entice its playful curiosity; they are known to be tolerant of nearby boats and people.