An ultra-rare “frilled shark” has been captured off the coast of Portugal. This terrifying fish has the body of a snake, the head of a shark, and to make it even better, 300 teeth. It’s rarely captured and almost never photographed in its natural environment, but this is one of those rare occasions.
According to BBC, researchers caught the frilled shark while they were working on a European Union project to “minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing.” It measured 5 feet in length and was caught at a depth of 2,300 feet.
The frilled shark has been dubbed a “shark from the age of the dinosaurs,” with remains dating back 80 million years. It has barely evolved since Pangea. Scientists Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere have dubbed it a “living fossil.”
Samuel Garman, the first scientist to study the frilled shark, believes it might be the inspiration for the mythical “sea serpent.”
The frilled shark has what the Washington Post describes as “hundreds of needle-sharp teeth, neatly lined in 25 rows.” It uses them to attack other sharks, fish, octopuses and squid in sudden lunges.
The frilled shark is generally sighted off the coasts of Japan, New Zealand and Australia, but if it was just captured in Portugal, we might want to stay out of the ocean for a while.