iStock / Pieter De Pauw

Five corpses have been discovered, each with identical, precise wounds.

It sounds like the beginning of a brutal murder mystery - but, no, it's just nature.

The unexpected victim is the great white shark, left for dead with holes between their pectoral fins and liver. But what could possibly be hunting one of the ultimate predators?

Whale, hello there.

It turns out teams of killer whales could be behind the killings.

With great whites growing as large as 6.4 metres and weighing at up to 2,268kg - and orcas reaching 9.6 metres and 9,000kg, it sounds like the kind of battle an enthusiastic 5-year-old might dream up.

But it's really happening, with five corpses having washed up on South African beaches so far this year.

Here is terrifying footage of how killer whales hunt, if you felt like fuelling your nightmares:

It does however, remain a mystery why so many carcasses have suddenly started appearing.

But orcas off the South African coasts have been known to target sharks before - and with the same gruesome technique specifically harvesting the oil-rich, dense-in-energy liver.

And the murder weapon? Killer whales are thought to take down sharks by making the most of a biological quirk.

Tonic immobility is where sharks and other animals go into a placid trance when turned upside down.

Pods of whales have been known to ram into great whites, knocking them over and holding them there.

If some shark species stop swimming, they can no longer breathe - meaning that, in effect, they drown.

HT The Guardian

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