A species of bioluminescent shark has been identified. If this isn’t proof that there’s still a whole bunch of crazy shit we haven’t discovered yet, we aren’t sure what is.
The ocean is a deep, dark, scary place, and this glow-in-the-dark shark is just the beginning of what we haven’t yet uncovered.
The shark weighs less than a kilogram and is about 30 cm long. It also has a huge nose, making it one of the less attractive sharks in the ocean.
The shark (Etmopterus lailae) belongs to the Lanternshark family, which are found off the coast of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
They inhabit a climate 300 metres below the surface – no wonder they need the glowing light!
The shark was first discovered 17 years ago, but due to the difficulty in accurately identifying a new species, it wasn’t widely confirmed as a unique species until 2017.
Professor Stephen M. Kajiura from the Florida Atlantic University, who has been studying the shark, said in a press release:
“There are only about 450 known species of sharks worldwide and you don’t come across a new species all that often. A large part of biodiversity is still unknown, so for us to stumble upon a tiny, new species of shark in a gigantic ocean is really thrilling…
“The unique features and characteristics of this new species really set it apart from the other lanternsharks.”
Scarily, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has approximated that 95 per cent of the world’s oceans are unexplored by humans.
Imagine how many sharks we could be discovering in the next few years, not to mention mermaids!
Via National Geographic.