According to reports the sea monster was caught by a fishing trawler, leaving its crew bewildered.
The species dates back 80 million years, and is less than photogenic. “It’s a freaky thing,” Simon Boag, the chief executive officer at South East Trawl Fishing Association, told Australia’s ABC Rural. “I don’t think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed.”
Monstrous frilled shark: Prehistoric predator
If Mr. Boag’s description doesn’t intrigue you, your interest may be piqued by the fact that the species is also referred to as a “living fossil,” whose eel-like body can grow to around 6 feet in length. It has 3 fins on its back, and a mouth which contains 300 needle-shaped teeth arranged in 25 rows.
It is thought to capture its prey in the same way as a snake, bending its sinuous body around fish unfortunate enough to cross its path. This specimen is thought to be fully grown, and was caught at a depth of 2,296 feet below the surface.
The species usually lives even deeper below the sea, and Boag called the captured specimen “unlucky.” He went on to claim that this is the first time that humans have seen the species alive.
Frilled shark: An intriguing catch
The event captured the imagination of longtime fisherman David Guillot, captain of the Western Alliance Vessell, who claimed that he had never seen anything of the kind.
“I’ve been at sea for 30 years and I’ve never seen a shark that looks like that,” he said in an interview with radio station 3AW Drive. “It was like a large eel, probably 1.5 meters [5 feet] long, and the body was quite different to any other shark I’d ever seen.”
The fishermen offered the specimen to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for research purposes, but the organization refused to receive it. It is thought that the monster of the deep has now been sold.