Megamouth Shark: Rarest Shark in the World Hooked

Pam WrightLife

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A "rare and mysterious" megamouth shark — and what a mouth it is — was caught from the depths of the ocean off the Shizuoka coast of Japan.

A gathering of over 1500 Japanese watched as the "rarest shark in the world" was dissected.

According to Japanese Daily Press, "The Marine Science Museum in Shizuoka, Japan dissected the animal caught for further study with more than a thousand onlookers, curious to see the insides of the giant creature."

After the dissection, the megamouth's remains were made available for public display at the museum.

This species of shark is very rare and was only discovered some 30 years ago.

According to Discovery, "The Megamouth shark is one of the most rare and most mysterious members of the shark family. Only 22 specimens have ever been reported since it was first captured and described in 1976 and many details of its life are as yet unknown. Megamouths are the third known species of planktonivorous shark, alongside the whale shark and basking shark."

The creature owes its name to its head which is way out of proportion from the rest of its body and can measure up to 18 feet in length.

Megamouth sharks — Megachasma pelages — are not man-eaters. Instead, they feed on plankton, shrimp and jellyfish via a filter in the gigantic mouth. They come from the Lamniformes order of sharks commonly known as mackerel sharks, which includes the great white shark.

According to JDP, the 13-foot-long shark was hauled in from depth of 2600 feet and weighed 1500 pounds.

Found in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, there have apparently been 100 sightings of the megamouth shark off the coast of Japan.

One has to wonder if any part of the shark made it onto a sushi platter.

Image via YouTube

Pam Wright