A group of filmmakers seeking a rare goblin shark were able to catch astonishing footage as the predator attempted to sink its teeth into a diver’s arm, transforming its visage and inadvertently trapping itself.
The goblin shark lives in deep water, making it extremely difficult to find, according to the Tech Times. The shark is thought to range from the Atlantic Ocean to the coast of Japan, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean. Characterized by a distinctly long snout, the goblin shark nonetheless possesses an unusual and powerful method of attack.
In the video, the shark can be seen trying to turn away from the camera, though it inadvertently runs into one of the diver’s arms. The goblin shark immediately tries to bite into the unknown object in an act of defense, deploying its gruesome protruding jaw and rows of sharp teeth. Though the shark’s teeth are meant to trap prey, they instead catch in the diver’s thick wetsuit material, trapping the predator.
“The Goblin Shark, the ugliest being in the planet. Read about this ancient creature: http://t.co/HvrYYvzJOX pic.twitter.com/qcQ5XadzOF“
— Daniel Gennaoui (@DanielGennaoui) December 18, 2014
Sharks are able to project their jaws in this manner because they aren’t fused to the predators’ skulls, instead suspended by ligaments and cartilage. According to Wired, the goblin shark takes this ability to its extreme, utilizing it to trap prey with teeth meant to hold, not slice.
Clinton Duffy, a biologist with the New Zealand Department of Conservation, observed that goblin sharks possess a very large mouth in relation to their size, which is comprised of loose skin and muscles. This allows the shark to expand its jaws considerably, creating a vacuum which sucks prey into its mouth.
“This arrangement allows the entire upper jaw to be dropped and then protruded forward during a bite,” he said.
— llamaranch (@llamaranch) December 22, 2014
Earlier this year, a goblin shark was caught off the coast of Florida. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the shark was found in a shrimp net off Key West, and was still alive when brought up from the depths. The stunned fishermen almost immediately returned the shark to the ocean, taking only a few images of the animal as it thrashed about on their boat. The incident represented just the second time that a goblin shark has been sighted in the Gulf of Mexico.
[Image: DeepSeaCreaturesWeb/ YouTube via the Tech Times]