Rare, Strange-Looking Shark Found Off the Coast of Portugal

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Photos of a recent discovery from off the coast of Portugal are sending chills down peoples’ spines. National Geographic reports that while scientists were conducting an experiment using a trawler (a fishing vessel that drags through the water to catch fish), they came across a five-foot-long frilled shark.

The disturbing-looking frilled shark is rarely seen by humans since it lives so deep in the ocean, and the size of their population is unknown. Other sightings of the fish have taken place off the coast of Australia and Japan in the Atlantic Ocean.

CNN reports that some scientists believe this underwater beast looks almost the same as it did all the way back to the Cretaceous Period! (The Cretaceous Period began after the Jurassic Period and ended 66 million years ago.) The unsettling creature eats its prey (like other sharks, squid, and fish) whole, and it’s able to do so easily with its intimidating 300 teeth in its mouth.

Creatures like the frilled shark remind us how much sea life is lurking in the ocean that people remain unfamiliar with, and how much history our planet holds. Scientists predict we will be seeing more of these creatures with the increase of deep sea fishing.