While fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, shrimpers pulled up a rare and horrifying creature: a goblin shark. This is only the second goblin shark to ever be found in the Gulf of Mexico. While they are very uncommon in general, they are usually found in off the coast of Japan, very deep underwater.
The shrimpers discovered the shark when they were pulling up their nets. The shark is estimated to be 18 feet long, but an exact measurement was not taken by fisherman Carl Moore: "I didn't even know what it was. I didn't get the tape measure out because that thing's got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage."
Moore quickly threw the shark back in the water, but not before snapping a few pictures, which he took to show his grandson without realizing he was documenting one of the sea's most elusive creatures.
The goblin shark is, well, really weird. It's pink. It has a long, pointy snout. It also has some seriously terrifying teeth, which are incredibly sharp and made even scarier because they are hidden (until its too late) by its snout. Beyond that, very little is known about the animal. John Carlson, a shark expert at NOAA, told the Houston Chronicle, "We don't even know how old they get, how fast they grow." His best guess is that it was a female shark.
Moore is estimated to be one of about ten people who have ever seen the elusive goblin alive. While we are all fans of marine biology around here, I would personally like this shark to stay elusive. Or at least really far away from me.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.