A shark crossed with a snake? That is a whole load of nopes right there.
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, the ocean throws out another bizarre creature which dates back to prehistoric times. The animal of the hour was recently caught by Portuguese scientists and has been scientifically categorised as a Chlamydoselachus anguineus, which is living a near threatened existence. It’s common name is a frill shark, which may sound frilly and pretty, but this label is only due to its decorative gills – nothing more.
According to the BBC, European scientists were trawling through the Atlantic Ocean on a mission to “minimise unwanted catches in commercial fishing.” Instead they found this monster of the deep. The deep-sea shark measured around 1.5 metres and was swimming at a comfortable deep sea climate of about 700 metres below the surface.
As well as being utterly disgusting in appearance, it’s also really old – it’s been surviving for 80 million years. They were literally hanging out with the brontosauruses and T-rexes of the world. The everlasting life these deep sea dwellers seem to have has earned them the nickname of a ‘living fossil.’
Back to the appearance though, this shark is the stuff that exists in nightmares. The creature has approximately 300 teeth with 25 backwards facing rows, which means if you get into a fight with this devil, you will inevitably die. Their prey (mainly other sharks, fish, octopus, and squid) are trapped in the backwards facing teeth, and a fight for survival is near impossible. They can also grow up to 1.9 metres long – the size of a tall male human – so, that’s pretty unnerving.
With all this in mind, you can be even more unsettled by the fact that humans have barely come into contact with this creature due to it’s deep-sea existence off the coast of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. So, if frill sharks of death are out there in the blue beyond and we barely knew about them, we should probably be concerned about what other, undiscovered animals are out there.
Note: mermaids probably do exist.