If a pink goblin shark is not a species that you are familiar with, that’s because this prehistoric shark is extremely rare. You can imagine what the veteran fishermen who pulled the pink goblin shark onto the deck of their boat were thinking, since they too have never laid eyes on this creature before, according to SMH.com on May 5.
A pink goblin shark sounds like an image you might put up on a wall for a little girl’s Halloween party. Something somewhat scary looking but being pink and all, it takes the fright down a few notches. This shark is anything but mundane when it comes to offering a fright. The fishermen threw their catch back into the Gulf of Mexico, fearing its “wicked” teeth.
The prehistoric-looking shark was almost 19-feet-long and along with those hostile looking teeth, the creature was quite the thrasher. The fishermen were trolling for shrimp, a small sea creature that is not prone to putting up a fight. Taking the pink goblin shark on board caused quite the ruckus for this crew.
The shark is rarely seen and this was only the second sighting in the last 10 years of the pink goblin shark off Key West, Florida. The shark’s usual habitat is in the deep waters off the coast of Japan. It has also been seen in the waters off Australia, but again, the shark is rarely seen anywhere.
The fighting shark came up in the shrimp nets that were just pulled up from about 2000 feet below the water's surface, according to Time Magazine today. The creature didn’t like its ride up from the bottom and by the time it saw the deck of the boat, its fight for survival was in high gear.
Fisherman Carl Moore photographed the shark before it went back in the water. He had just gotten a new smartphone and his grandson’s love of sharks prompted him to take the pictures. Moore also got another title after seeing the shark. A team from NOAA believe that Moore is one of only 10 people alive to ever lay eyes on this shark.
Moore had no idea what he pulled up in the net back on April 19. It wasn’t until he reported his find recently to NOAA that he became headline news for not only spotting, but catching this shark. NOAA shark expert John Carlson was very enthused when seeing Moore’s photos of the pink goblin shark.
The shark lives in the deepest part of the ocean and has “few interactions with humans,” reports Moore. The shark sports a unique ensemble of features. This includes its bright pink color and protruding snout that hides a rack of razor sharp teeth. The shark was found back in 1898 off the coast of Japan and up until that time, which is over a century ago, it was thought to be extinct.
The lineage of this shark dates back to 125 million years. That long snout it sports is thought to be filled with electrical sensors to seek out its prey. It is thought to work so well that it can go after prey even when it can’t see or hear.
The NOAA scientists were disappointed they didn’t learn much about the shark from the pictures. They don’t even know this species' life expectancy. Moore conveyed that this is the most exciting catch he's ever hauled in!