The Goblin Shark

Published on 7 December 2019 at 18:21

The goblin shark

The goblin shark is a very rare deep-sea shark that was first documented in 1898. A deep-sea animal means that it lives at a minimum depth of 1000 meters in the ocean. At this depth there is no more sunlight, which means that no plants can grow here.


Not much is known about the sharks. Most people know this animal by its bizarre and terrifying appearance!


Its appearance makes them rather bizarre, it does not have most of the characteristics a normal shark has. It has a long flat snout with an extending pink jaw and nail-like teeth. They can grow up to 3.30 meters long and weigh 160 kilograms. Furthermore, the shark is white or grey and has small eyes.


The sharks are so rare that it is also called a 'living fossil'. Only four of these sharks have been caught at a depth of about 1.3 kilometers. These sharks live spread out, which means that they do not swim in groups.


The sharks were found in various parts of the world, which may mean that they do not live in one specific sea. The specimens are known to occur in the North Atlantic Ocean, South Africa, South America, Western North America, South Asia, the Gulf of Mexico and Australia. In these areas they live in submarine mountains, the submarine canyons and the upper continental slopes.

What makes them special?

Special is how they find their prey. They trace their prey by detecting electric fields. The sharks are also special because they are the only existing representative of the Mitsukurinidae family. The goblin shark is a descendant of about 125 million years old.



Image by: Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia license.


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