A group of researchers who caught a blacktip shark off the coast of Virginia said they were shocked when a much larger great white shark showed up to eat it.

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The Virginia Institute of Marine Science's Multispecies Research Group posted a photo to Facebook showing the 12- to 13-foot great white shark approaching the boat to snag the 4-foot black tip shark that had been caught on their longline, which was equipped with 100 baited hooks.

The researchers said they had intended to tag and release the smaller shark, but the great white took them by surprise.

"We weren't expecting that one," researcher Kaitlyn O'Brien, who snapped the photo, told The Virginian-Pilot. "It made a real mess of our lines."