Ghost sharks (Chimaera) are the mysterious relatives of sharks and rays. Although we know of their existence, they are practically impossible to capture on film as they live in the depths of the ocean, as far down as 2,600 metres.
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But now, for the first time, this elusive creature has been caught on film by a remotely operated vehicle that was launched on a geology expedition by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in the waters of Hawaii and California.
To find out more about the ghost shark, here’s what National Geographic has to say:
Unlike those more well-known sharks, chimaeras don’t have rows of ragged teeth, but instead munch up their prey—mollusks, worms, and other bottom-dwellers—with mineralised tooth plates.
A pattern of open channels on their heads and faces, called lateral line canals, contain sensory cells that sense movement in the water and help the ghost sharks locate lunch.
And perhaps most fascinating, male chimaeras sport retractable sex organs on their foreheads.
Just stunning – it almost doesn’t look real.
Deep sea creatures are always fascinating, as they look like animals from another planet. If you too are interested in this other world, check out the eight weirdest sharks in the deep sea universe.