The goblin shark might be the scariest shark to inhabit our waters, and yet little is known about this grotesque looking deep-sea beast.
Although it is hard to find, as it tends to hang out in deep waters off the continental shelf, it has been found in every major ocean off the coast of Florida, Japan, Australia, California, Brazil, Africa and France.
Goblin sharks that have been captured have not survived in captivity past a week so observing their habits has been virtually impossible for scientists to do. A pregnant goblin shark has never been found so nothing is known of their mating and birthing process.
Often referred to as a “living fossil”, the shark looks almost reptilian and prehistoric in nature. It basically is a living fossil, seeing as it has been around since the cretaceous period (66 million years ago) and hasn’t evolved much since then. It has a jaw that protrudes when capturing prey, and footage of this disturbing jaw feature can be found here.
The goblin shark’s anatomy suggests that it is sluggish and slow moving in nature. Unlike other sharks in its family—a family that also includes the great white shark—the goblin shark is pink in color. The goblin shark can reportedly grow to 6 meters (20 feet) in length and the shark’s creepiest feature, aside from its protruding jaw, is it’s long snout.
Luckily, as far as scientists are aware the goblin shark poses virtually no threat to humans. According to shark researcher Leonard J.V. Compagno, adults are rarely caught or even observed in the wild, as they generally live at depths of 890-3,150 feet. This means that they reside in ocean waters where there is barely any human interaction. Although the goblin shark might be the creepiest and most deranged looking sea monster ever discovered—with the giant squid coming in at a very close second—your chance of running into them off our North Florida coast seems pretty slim, so don’t run out of the water screaming just yet!