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Experts have solved the mystery of what appeared to be a 50-foot Megalodon shark at the bottom of the ocean.

The shape of what appeared to be the outline of the prehistoric beast was captured by shark scanners scouring the depths of the ocean, posing the question of whether it is really extinct.

The Megalodon dates back to around 20 million years ago and is the largest shark to have ever existed.

The Natural History Museum said: “Estimates suggest it grew to between 15 and 18 metres in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark.”

So, when The Atlantic Shark Institute detected a giant mass on their equipment, thoughts turned to what it could possibly be and they posted on Instagram to share their findings.

The post read: “Does the Meg exist? On a recent shark research trip we were all amused to see this shape appear on our fish finder for several minutes.

“Based on the length of the image we estimated the ‘Meg’ to be about 50 feet long, weighing in at 40 tons!”

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Alongside the text, they shared an image of what was captured on their scanning equipment, which did resemble the outline of a shark.

But, unfortunately, Megalodon hopefuls were left disappointed as the experts went on to explain that the mass eventually began to break up to reveal that it has actually been a very large school of mackerel.

They continued: “We waited for one of the rods to go off however, much to our disappointment, the shape started to transition into a large school of Atlantic mackerel that hung around the boat for about 15 minutes.

“So close, but so far! The Megalodon (Otodus megalodon), disappeared more than 3 million years ago and will likely stay that way, but, for a few minutes, we thought he had returned!”

Shark enthusiasts in the comments admitted they, too, had briefly got their hopes up.

One Instagrammer wrote: “I got excited for 10 seconds.”

Another said: “Haha - that would’ve got my heart racing.”

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