Deep-Sea Ghost Shark Filmed Alive In Ocean For First Time

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When you hear the phrase "Ghost Shark" you might think that it's the title of a new horror film.

A recently published research paper by MBARI researcher Lonny Lundsten and his colleagues said the fishy specimens were recently spotted in waters near the Hawaiian Islands and Central California, notes the MBARI website; that's unusual because the creatures are normally seen in the Southeastern Pacific.

Now, the world has a chance to see this rare deep-sea shark as a video of this creature has finally been released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California almost six years after it was taken.

Even though ghost sharks have been gliding through the depths since long before the dinosaurs, we still know very little about them.

While its name may be the Ghost Shark, it is not actually a shark, but a member of the elasmobranchs species.

Dave Ebert, from the Pacific Shark Research Center, said it was only "dumb look" that the footage had been shot as people usually wouldn't have been looking in those waters for the creature. Ebert will scour local fish markets for new specimens, but one of the best and only ways is to use a trawling boat to scrape the depths.

"It's nearly a little comical". He described the fish as "comical", saying it swam up several times, bumping its nose off the lens of the camera.

If the creature is confirmed to be a pointy nosed blue chimera, it would also be the first discovery of the species in the Northern Hemisphere.

Unlike those more well-known sharks, chimeras don't have rows of ragged teeth, but instead munch up their prey-mollusks, worms, and other bottom-dwellers-with mineralized tooth plates.

Most fascinating about chimera's is the male's retractable sex organ, which can be found on its head.

"The only way we can collect these species is by trawling", she says. Imagine trying to understand species distribution in Lake Michigan and you sample the lake using a Dixie cup.