A GROUP of friends made a shocking discovery as they walked along Brighton beach last night.

Student Lola Carter saw an odd object on the pebbles to the right of Brighton Palace Pier, and when she went closer she couldn’t believe what she has found.

She said: “I was at the beach watching the sunset with some friends when we noticed something strange on the pebbles.

“We initially thought it was an odd looking rock, but later realised it was the skin and bones of a shark, but only the head.

“It was definitely real as we touched it with a pebble and the skin moved over the bone.”

On its website, the Shark Trust said that there are more than 40 species of shark around the coasts of Britain.

At least 21 of these live in British waters all year round.

Sharks seen off this country's coast include smallspotted catsharks, nursehound sharks, angelsharks, tope sharks, spiny dogfish and basking sharks.

In July, 2018, research from the University of Southampton also suggested that new species of shark could migrate to UK waters as the oceans warm.

Dr Ken Collins named ten types of shark which could come to the country by 2050 as a result of climate change.

These included the great hammerhead, blacktip shark, bronze whaler shark, oceanic whitetip and sand tiger.

But, after The Argus contacted experts in marine wildlife, it was found that the animal was not a shark.

A spokesman for the Brighton Dolphin Project said: "Having had a chance to analyse the photograph, we can confirm that it is not a shark, it is, in fact, a Conger Eel.

"Their skin is similar in appearance to Sharks, as they have no scales.

"Conger eels are regularly seen off the coast of Sussex. They pose no threat to humans.

"We are uncertain as to why, or how, a conger Eel’s head would be cut off, but would welcome ideas or views on the likely reasons.

"This is a great sighting for us as it does give us an insight into the incredible marine wildlife that can be found in Sussex."