Scientists believe the elusive and mysterious ghost shark has been captured on film for the first time.
Also known as the pointy-nosed blue chimaera (Hydrolagus trolli), the creatures boast an appropriately spectral appearance with milky eyes, and a pale, patchwork-like skin, lending them the air of a Tim Burton character.
Their snouts are lined with raised dots, instead of teeth their mouths are lined with tooth plates and the males boast retractable sex organs on their heads, the Washington Post points out.
The footage of this phantom fish was actually shot in 2009 via a remotely-operated vehicle off the sunless depths of California and Hawaii, but it was only recently released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).
Dave Ebert, program director for the Pacific Shark Research Centre at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, told the National Geographic: “The guys doing the video were actually geologists. Normally, people wouldn’t have been looking around in this area, so it’s a little bit of dumb luck.”
Ghost sharks tend to be native to the southern Hemisphere and have been around since before the dinosaurs.