Australian fishermen were shocked recently when they caught an extremely rare shark species known as the “goblin shark,” which is considered to be a “living dinosaur.”
The last thing the fishermen expected to catch was a goblin shark, as they typically reside in waters near the ocean floor at around 1,200 metres deep. They hate sunlight and cling to the darkness of the ocean floor.
The small shark, also known as the “vampire shark,” was caught by Lochlainn Kelly and his father, Mike, just 609 metres below the water’s surface in a critter, southeast of Green Cape off the coast of Victoria.
As you can see from the above image, the creepy-looking shark has a bloated pink belly, grey fins, a pointy nose, and row of short, sharp teeth.
Lochlainn Kelly told the Sydney Morning Herald, “I wasn’t freaked out, if anything I was pretty excited. I’ve seen photos of them before but I’ve never seen one before.”
The experts over at the Merimbula Wharf Aquarium, Michael McMaster and Alan Scrymgeour from the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre, were astounded when they saw the goblin shark. They determined that the shark is only two to 3-years-old as it is relatively small at just 1.2 metres in length.
McMaster told reporters, “Their teeth are often found in underwater electrical cables. A lot of fishermen have been saying that the currents are very different this year,’ he added, which might have something to do with how this shark found its way into the net.”
The shark will be sent from the Wharf Aquarium to the Australian Museum in Sydney for display and is for sure a sight to see.
The goblin shark’s official scientific name is Mitsukurina owston and is sometimes referred to as a “living fossil.” Interestingly, it is the only extant representative of the family Mitsukurinidae, a lineage some 125 million years old in existence.