“It freaked me out, man,” fisherman Carl Moore said to KeysInfoNet. “I’ve never seen something so ugly in my life.”
That was the description of the goblin shark from the fisherman who caught it in the Gulf of Mexico on April 19, and pictures back up his assessment. At an estimated 18 feet long, the goblin shark, pink with a protruding jaw lined with vicious teeth and a long snout, is the second only of its kind caught in the Gulf of Mexico.
Most, according to the Houston Chronicle, are found off Japan, in the Indian Ocean, or around South Africa.
The shark was accidentally hauled up by shrimpers, who were shocked when they pulled up their net, which they had 2,000 feet deep, and discovered something pink thrashing among the shrimp.
“I didn’t even know what it was,” said lifetime fisherman Carl Moore. “I didn’t get the tape measure out because that thing’s got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage.”
And it was only luck that pictures were taken at all, as Moore quickly put the shark back into the Gulf. Moore had only just bought a camera with a cell phone to take pictures of sharks for his grandson. When Moore showed his grandson this one, the grandson said, “Wow, Pappa!”
Incredibly little is known about the goblin shark.
Shark blogger and University of Miami marine biologist David Shiffman told the Houston Chronicle that it is unclear why the goblin sharks have a unique color but that the color would be ideal for sneaking up on prey because in the depths of the ocean, red appears black.
Other details about goblin sharks are that their snouts have electrical sensors that can detect prey even when the goblin sharks can’t see or hear and that their jaws snaps out like a Venus flytrap to consume prey.
“They are a very rarely seen animal that has not been studied enough, as soon as the news got out, I got more than 2 dozen requests for different measurements,” said Shiffman.
As for why Moore immediately released the shark back into the Gulf, he said, “That’s my ocean out there and anything in it concerns me . . . I know the value of trying to preserve things.”
Image via YouTube