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Rare megamouth shark caught: Odd-looking shark seen or captured only 58 times

A Rare megamouth shark caught off the coast of Japan is one of the oddest looking sea creatures you'll ever see. The megamouth shark is so rare that only 58 have been caught or seen in the world since discovering the first one in Hawaii back in 1976, according to Fox News on May 8.

Rare megamouth shark caught, only seen or caugh 58 times in history.
Wikimedia Commons

The term "megamouth undoubtedly was conjured up after getting a gander of this bizarre mouth on this species of shark. It is so wide and floppy, that it resembles what the opening of a black 30-gallon garbage bag would look like flapping in the wind. The mouth is not as formed to distinct lines like other sharks. This is what it looks lie out of water. In the water when it opens its mouth to feed, it looks like a gaping hole in a barrel.

According to Yahoo News today, the megashark measured 13-feet and it resembles a prehistoric creature. While the sightings have been made around the world of this creature, Japan has had the majority of the sightings off its coast.

The 1,500 female shark's autopsy was the main event at the Marine Science Museum in Shizuoka City. The autopsy took place with staff and onlookers gawking at the floppy-mouth beast. It is unclear when the shark was caught, but it was pulled up from the depths of 2,600 feet.

When marine biologists and scientist first saw the megamouth shark, it was a new species to them. It is considered one of the rarest fish in the world.

The Florida Museum of Natural History reports that megamouth sharks have been seen or caught in California, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Brazil, Ecuador, Senegal, South Africa, Mexico and Australia. The Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans are its known habitat.

The megamouth shark is a filter-feeding shark like the basking shark and the whale sharks. While similar in the way they collect their food, the megamouth shark is a poor swimmer in comparison and it is less active than the other two sharks.
It's only known predator is the sperm whale. The megamouth feeds on krill and it is known to grow to a maximum size of 17-feet.

Back in 2009, a megamouth shark was accidentally caught in a fisherman's net off the central Philippines island of Burias. It died before the fishermen could return it to the ocean as it struggled in the nets. The shark was taken to Donsol in Sorogon province.

There a butcher took it apart in pieces and it was eaten. That would have been a really rare delicacy because not many of these whales have caught and most were not used as a food source.

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