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A bizarre deep-sea shark with bulging eyes and an annoying, human-like smile has recently drifted off the coast of Australia. Shark experts aren’t sure exactly what species the spooky-looking creature might belong to, adding to the mystery surrounding this unusual specimen.
A deep lighthouse with the online name Trapman Bermagui shark From a depth of about 2,130 feet (650 meters) off the coast of New South Wales in Australia. The fisherman later shared a photo of the deep-sea specimen on September 12. Facebook (opens in new tab). The image shows the dead shark’s rough sandpaper-like skin, large pointed snout, large bulging eyes, and exposed pearly whites.
The shark’s unusual features quickly caught the attention of other Facebook users, who were either stunned or frightened by the creature. One commenter wrote that they had “nightmares”, for example, while another wrote that the creature’s “evil smile” gave them “major chills.” Other people joked about the animal’s appearance, saying that the shark wore “dentures” or eventually smiled after the braces were removed.
Commentators have also speculated as to which species the shark belongs to. The most common guess was that it was, for example, a cookie cutter shark (Brazilian Isisius) is named for the distinctive bite marks it leaves on larger animals. Other estimates include a goblin shark (Mitsukurina Owstoni) or some type of lantern shark (ethmopteridae).
But Trapman Bermagui disagreed with online commenters. “It’s not entirely a cookie cutter,” said the fisherman. News Week (opens in new tab). “This is a rough-skinned shark, also known as a type of shark.”
Endeavor shark (Centrophorus moluccensis) is a type of gulper shark, a group of deep-sea sharks found worldwide. Shark Research Institute (opens in new tab).
But some shark experts were not convinced of the fisherman’s identity.
“Looks like a deep water kite shark to me (dahlia flower“It’s known in the waters off the coast of Australia,” Christopher Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University in Long Beach, told Newsweek. Additional.
Dean Grubbs, a marine biologist and shark expert at Florida State University, came up with a different result. Grubbs suspected that the dead shark was a rough-skinned shark (Centroscymnus owstonii), a type of sleeping shark of the same family Greenland sharks (dreamy microcephaly), according to Newsweek.
It’s also possible that the shark belongs to a species that has never been seen before, Lowe said. “We’re discovering new deep-water shark species all the time, and many of them are very similar.”
However, other experts believe that Trapman Bermagui may still be in his place.
“It’s a gulper shark,” Brit Finucci, a fisheries scientist specializing in deep-sea sharks at the National Institute of Aquatic and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, told Live Science in an email. However, it’s not entirely clear which species it belongs to in this group, he added.
Charlie Huveneers, a shark scientist at Flinders University in Australia, told Live Science that he accepted Finucci’s identity and that the animal was most likely a gulper shark.
“In the past, fishermen in New South Wales have targeted gulper sharks for their liver oil,” Finucci said. Most gulper sharks are “very susceptible to overexploitation from fishing” and as a result “some species are currently highly threatened and protected in Australia,” he added.
Originally published on Live Science.