Sharks and Humans are so far separated by evolution that all sharks appear a bit strange and scary to us. But, some sharks just take weirdness to an almost alien level. Let’s check out some of these Strange denizens of the deep.
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8. Goblin Shark
You can’t have a list of strange animals without the Goblin Shark. This ancient shark (even by shark standards) is often called a living fossil and the last living representative of a family of sharks some 125 million years old.
This pink-skinned shark has a distinctive profile with an elongated, flattened snout, resembling a sword blade, and highly protrusible jaws containing prominent nail-like teeth. Seeing this shark extend its jaws is a thing of nightmares, but never fear, this is a deep water shark and is rarely seen by humans.
7. Cookie Cutter Shark
The cookie cutter shark got that name from its habit of biting chunks of flesh from its prey by wrenching its body around in a circular motion after sinking its teeth into a fish too big to eat whole. Yeah, Ouch!
The cookie cutter shark reaches only around twenty inches in length but has been known to bite into whales, submarines, and even people.
It also has a small bio-luminescent patch that fools other creatures into thinking it is a much smaller fish than it really is while the rest of the cookie cutter shark waits in the dark.
6. Frilled Shark
The frilled shark comes very close to our image of a sea serpent from ancient mythology. These sharks are not particularly large at about six feet long with a slender body, but they are very flexible and can move in a rather umm “un-sharklike” and creepy manner.
When the shark flares its neck frill, it can look quite menacing. But, Frilled Sharks are rarely seen by humans as they prefer to hunt in deep ocean depths.
5. Thresher Shark
The Thresher Shark is like most any other shark, except for one notable difference; the shark’s long upper tail fin may account for half the shark’s total length, kinda like your pet betta fish on steroids.
The thresher shark eats small fish, and will sometimes tap the water with its tail to herd schools of fish into tight spots, making them easier to eat.
The Thresher shark can also use its tail to stun its prey with a good smack. Threshers are usually 10-15 feet long, and can grow up to 20 feet long – but remember, about half of that length is tail fin.
4. Megamouth Shark
Going from a big tail to the other end, we have the Megamouth Shark and we can think of any shark with a more precisely descriptive name.
The Megamouth was first discovered in 1976. It is a filter feeder with very small teeth but swims with its huge mouth open to scoop up jellyfish and plankton.
The megamouth shark is a rare creature and is rarely seen. There have been only 41 confirmed sightings. So, even with its big mouth, there is very little chance that you’ll end up in it.
3. Hammerhead Sharks
There are eight or nine different species of hammerhead sharks, named for their unusual shape.
The reason behind the peculiar shape of the shark’s head has been debated for many years. Some scientists speculate that the distance between the shark’s eye gave it some kind of advantage. And, recent research confirms this.
Hammerhead sharks can see a range of 360 degrees vertically. They can also easily see behind them with a slight turn of the head, and most importantly, their two eyes have a huge overlap of field compared to other sharks, indicating they have excellent binocular vision.
This means Hammerhead sharks are able to judge distances well by sight alone.
Hammerheads also differ from other sharks in that they tend to swim in schools and they can even develop a tan when exposed to sunlight. Get your tan on Mr. Shark.
2. Basking Shark
The basking shark is the second-largest of all living shark species, with only the whale shark growing larger. Yes, it’s bigger than the Great White. Basking Sharks normally grow to 20-26 feet long, with the biggest confirmed specimen measuring over 40 feet long!
They have mouths up to three feet wide, which they hold open while swimming. That’s because they are filter feeders that scoop up plankton, crustaceans, and small fish as they swim.
Before we get to number one, there are two sharks that didn’t make this list, simply because they are extinct, and have been for quite some time.
The first is the Megalodon, which as far as we know is the largest shark to ever swim the oceans at up to 60 feet in length. This shark’s name translates to “big tooth” which is quite appropriate for a shark who’s bite force exceeded that of the T.Rex and ate whales. The Megalodon went extinct approximately one million years ago.
The second is Whorl shark, which would have certainly made the list of weirdest sharks if it hadn’t gone extinct around 225 million years ago. It was a truly strange fish and we know little about it. But, yeah, just look at it. On to number 1.
There are seven known species of Sawsharks that have long snouts with teeth. They swim along the floor of the ocean and use their snouts exactly as you would imagine: they give their prey a good smack to disable them. Sawsharks eat squid, crustaceans, and small fish. And, they look much more dangerous than they actually are.
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