‘It’s like an alien from the deep’: Rare goblin shark caught in scientific expedition.
From the great white to the hammerhead, there are certain species of sharks that people are more familiar with.
But deep below the surface lies an undiscovered aquatic world with ‘alien’-looking sharks, including the elusive goblin shark, of which very little is known.
On Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins, scientists Vicky Vasquez and Dave Ebert set out catch a live goblin shark for research purposes. In particular they want to observe its jutting, slingshot jaws which launch right out of its mouth, which make it faster than any other shark.
“It really is like an alien shark. It’s a pink shark with blue fins,” describes Eber
After days of searching on Tokyo Bay — which has depths of over 900 metres — the scientists managed to finally capture a goblin shark. And upon observing it eat another fish they found its jaws to complete a bite in 0.16 seconds, which is the fastest bite ever recorded in the fish world.
But a goblin shark wasn’t their only find. The team also found a range of deep-sea dwelling creatures.
They caught a kitefin shark, which according to Ebert has “really serious teeth”. They’re also bioluminescent, meaning they can light up from within.
A frill shark is also hauled up, and it truly looks alien. These snake-like sharks have six gill slits, which is more than most sharks that have five. It’s believed this allows them to take in more oxygen from water and live deeper in the ocean. They also have ghostly white teeth.
The scientists also discovered a new species of lantern shark with distinct purple colouring. They caught one and then later found another swimming around, which they captured on film with baited camera set-up.
Of course, these are only a small selection of the sharks that the team encountered on Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins. The show even highlights another group of scientists on an expedition in the Bass Straight — which lies between the south of Australia’s mainland and Tasmania — who are looking to discover more information about sawsharks.