Mankind has explored less than 5% of the oceans on Earth. With all the advancement in science and technology, we are still unsure of the things lurking under the depths. Every now and then we come across a new species that makes our jaw drop. These animals have been around long before humans began ruling the Earth. For the first time ever, researchers were able to film a pointy-nosed blue chimaera; an eerie looking deep-sea ghost shark. It is thought to be older than dinosaurs and is one of the most elusive creatures in the ocean. This prehistoric creature has been fascinating researchers for decades and now they finally have a glimpse of it.
A glimpse of the elusive and prehistoric Ghost Shark.
To find ghost sharks, we have to dive into the depths of the ocean, to a point where the sun’s rays cannot be seen. Also known as chimaeras, their eyes lack motion or seem vacant. The dead-eyed fish is rarely seen by humans and was spotted in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time. The elusive creature’s skeleton is constructed of cartilage, not bone. This allows it to lurk through the depths like a ghost.
They are rarely spotted, as they are only found at depths of 2,000 to 6,500 feet. Small dots can be seen throughout its head, which scientists believe to be sensory organs. Even though an approximate study has never been conducted, they believe that the sensory organs could be helping them in finding food.
Thanks to the video released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, we can now take a glimpse at this magnificent creature. The video was recorded in 2009 by an ROV or remotely operated vehicle. After several dives to the depths of 6,700 feet off the coast of California and Hawaii, geologists got the shock of their lives. The ROV kept running into a fish, which they were unsure of. After the video was shown to chimaera experts, they confirmed that it was in fact a pointy-nosed blue chimaera.
The pointy-nosed blue chimaera species is mostly found near the coasts of New Caledonia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Yet the shark that was caught on video by the ROV was found off the coasts of California and Hawaii (for the first time). Ghost sharks are not new to scientists but filming them alive and in action was surely exciting. It is also the first recorded discovery of the pointy-nosed blue chimaera species in the Northern Hemisphere. After experts analyzed the video, they explained that the shark preferred rocky habitats, unlike its chimaera family.
Even though the geologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute were on a different mission, they were fortunate enough to come across this deep-sea lurker. It’s been nearly seven years since the video was recorded, yet it has just been released for the public to witness the rare moment.
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Here’s a glimpse of the deep-sea ghost shark in its natural habitat.