Bizarre deep-sea shark shocked fishermen: “Stuff from nightmares”

Is this insidious, alien-looking creature actually a rare deep-sea shark?

Reef it better.

An Australian fisherman has posted a photo of the deep blue beast – one described by Facebook commenters as “the stuff of nightmares” – after reeling it in from 2,133 feet below the surface, Newsweek reported.

Sydney fisherman Trapman Bermagui thought he spotted a rough-and-tumble deep-sea shark and posted the snap on Monday. The image has since gone viral on the social media site. The unusual find sparked fear – and some humor – about the listless bug-eyed creature from the abyss.

“The deep sea is another planet,” wrote one user.”

“Only [a] Mom might love this,” commented another.

This fishing community discusses what type of rare shark a fisherman recently caught in Australia.
This fishing community discusses what type of rare shark a fisherman recently caught in Australia.
Smithsonian Tropical Research In

But what exactly was Bermagui’s spooky catch of the day? Experts are sniffing to find out.

It could be a rough-skinned dogfish, also known as Centroscymnus owstoni, according to Dean Grubbs, associate research director at Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

“In my deep-sea research, we caught some of them in the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas,” he told Newsweek. “They belong to the Somniosidae family, the sleeper sharks, the same family as the Greenland sharks, but obviously a much smaller species.”

Grubbs added that he commonly finds dogfish at depths between 2,400 and 3,800 feet. Bermagui also weighed in, saying they were “common at depths of more than 600 meters” in his part of the world.

“We usually catch them in winter,” said the Australian fisherman.

One expert believes the creature is a deep-sea kitefin shark, also known as Dalatias lata.

“Looks to me like a deep-sea kitefin shark known in the waters off Australia,” said Christopher Lowe, director of California State University’s Long Beach Shark Lab. “However, we are constantly discovering new species of deep-sea sharks and many look very similar.” Bizarre deep-sea shark shocked fishermen: “Stuff from nightmares”


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