A FISHERMAN was stunned as he reeled in a bizarre-looking sea creature believed to be a fearsome deep-sea shark.
Sydney’s Trapman Bermagui posted a picture of the alien-looking shark to Facebook, with people calling it “the stuff of nightmares.”
The sea monster was dragged lifeless from 2,133ft off the coast of Australia – with teary eyes and tiny teeth sticking out.
People were deeply disturbed by the creature from below, with one person commenting, “stuff of nightmares there.”
While another joked, “Looks really happy he just took his braces off so he’s emphasizing the gums and teeth.”
Others began to speculate that the mysterious catch wasn’t a real shark at all and might have been man-made.
One person said, “Artificially made…either a sculptor or mixing DNA using the Crisper…”
But the fisherman responded to people’s comments and confirmed that it is indeed a shark, which often lurks miles below the ocean’s surface.
He said: “Absolutely not a cookie cutter. It is a rough skinned shark, also known as a species of guinea pig shark.
“These sharks are common at depths of more than 600 meters. We usually catch them in winter.”
Dean Grubbs, associate research director at Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory, also commented on reports of the bizarre catch.
He told US website Newsweek that it appears to be a rough-skinned shark, a species in the Somniosidae family.
He said: “In my deep-sea research, we caught some of these in the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas.
“Ours have come from depths of 740 to 1160 meters (2,400 to 3,800 feet), a little deeper than this report.
“They belong to the Somniosidae family, the sleeper sharks, the same family as the Greenland sharks, but obviously a much smaller species.”
However, Christopher Lowe, professor and director of California State University’s Long Beach Shark Lab, thought it might be a different species of shark.
He said: “Looks to me like a deep-sea kitefin shark familiar in the waters off Australia,” he said, although he noted he couldn’t see the shark’s full body or size.
“It looks like Dalatias lata to me; However, we are constantly discovering new species of deep-sea sharks, and many look very similar.”
In August of this year, The Sun reported that an “old” 16-foot Greenland shark had been sighted in the Caribbean.
The semi-blind animal was spotted off the coast of Belize by a team of researchers traveling on a boat tagging tiger sharks with local fishermen.
The team set out a longline to catch the sharks but couldn’t believe their eyes when the Greenland shark appeared.
Initially, they thought the shark, which “looked really, really old, was dead, but it came to life,” said Devanshi Kasana, a researcher at Florida International University.
“It was just very surprising and confusing,” Kasana told NPR.
“As soon as it came into view, we saw a black shape that grew larger and larger.
“When it came to the surface none of the crew with all their combined fishing experience had seen anything like it.”
Kasana took a picture of the creature and sent it to her supervisor, who said it appeared to be a Greenland shark, one of the longest-living creatures on the planet.
It is believed to be the first time a bowhead shark has been sighted in the western Caribbean.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6243544/bizarre-deep-sea-shark-nightmare-fisherman/ Bizarre deep-sea shark with bulging eyes and teeth has been branded ‘the stuff of nightmares’ after being caught by fishermen