Prehistoric Shark Found In Australia’s Waters

A truly terrifying specimen has been pulled out of Australia’s southeastern waters. It was a rare frilled shark that is believed to date back to prehistoric times.

This creature, still alien to us, has been faced very rarely. The first encounter with this shark, in its natural habitat, was in August of 2004. It has only been seen a few times since then.

It exhibits several “primitive” features and is often been considered a “living fossil” – which is not far off from what it is. According to experts, it is related to species that are long extinct form this Earth. The shark has a gaping mouth filled with rows and rows of razor-like teeth, like most sharks, but a body like that of an eel’s. Its 6-foot long, dark-brown body has multiple frilled gills that give the shark its name.

The fisherman who caught the shark, David Guillot, says that it was nothing that he or any other fishermen have ever come across before. He thought he had discovered something new, when he found it. The shark was found while he was trawling for fish at 1,100 meters below sea level, off the coast of southeastern Australia.

“It was like a large eel, probably 1.5 meters [about 5 feet] long, and the body was quite different to any other shark I’d ever seen,” Guillot tells 3AW Radio. “The head on it was like something out of a horror movie. It was quite horrific looking.”

The frilled shark is known to inhabit extreme depths of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, where temperatures can go as low as 32°F (0°C). For normal water, that would be the point of freezing, but for seawater, the freezing point is 28.4°F (-2°C). Such conditions force organisms to adapt to their surrounding in order to survive.

The shark was still living as it was pulled from the waters, but unfortunately died shortly after, so Guillot offered the shark to a museum. It is assumed that the shark died after being pulled from such extreme depths. This would have caused a combination of dangerous pressure and temperature changes – ones that the shark was not accustomed to.