Just as Jaws did for the Great White, the giant dead basking shark on Long Island last week caused some confusion about just how dangerous the beast is. The NY Times clears it all up today, tracking the confusion to a few years ago when several basking sharks swam into shallow waters off New York and "some reports held that these generally peaceful sharks can lash out and pose a potential danger to surfers and swimmers when they are wounded, as they usually are when they come ashore." But the experts say that the beast's hundreds of teeth make it almost impossible to bite a human, which is why they prefer swimming with their jaws open and swallowing up plankton. However, one expert told them, “When you have an animal that’s 25 feet long that’s thrashing around, that would be detrimental. They have a lot of power and that could be dangerous to the public. We would always encourage to stay back and not try to touch it or get close to it.” So in conclusion, if you see a giant, thrashing, 5,000 pound shark while wading in the ocean this summer: get thee to shore. Also, don't walk into oncoming traffic.