This Freaky Shark Shocks Fisherman, is "Stuff of Nightmares"
Internet debates about the rough-skinned, glassy-eyed, toothy creature.
Internet commenters don't hold back. But when an Australian fisherman reeled in a sea creature from a depth of 2,133 feet and posted his unusual catch online, he didn't expect it to be described as the "stuff of nightmares" by commenters. Read on to find out what they said about the creature, what it may be, and the even more disturbing creature the seaman caught earlier this summer.
Newsweek reports that Sydney fisherman Trapman Bermagui posted a photo of his catch on Facebook Monday. Commenters had plenty to say about the rough-skinned, glassy-eyed, toothy creature. "Looks very prehistoric," said one user. "Stuff of nightmares there," wrote another. Some said it was likely to be a "cookiecutter" shark, a small ovoid shark with a bulbous nose and prominent lips. Bermagui had another ID in mind. "Totally not a cookiecutter," he told Newsweek. "It's a rough skin shark, also known as a species of endeavor dog shark."
Bermagui also posted his unusual find to Instagram, where commenters weighed in—and occasionally freaked out. "That's … trippy," said one. "That doesn't look real," said another.
"Just had a plaque and fluoride treatment by the looks of him," said another, remarking on the creature's prominent gleaming teeth.
Bermagui's catch may indeed be a roughskin dogfish shark, said Dean Grubbs of Florida State University. "In my deep-sea research, we have caught quite a few of them in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Bahamas," he told Newsweek. "They are in the family Somniosidae, the sleeper sharks, the same family of the Greenland shark, but obviously a much smaller species."
But another expert has made a different identification. "Looks to me like a deep-water kitefin shark, which are known in the waters off Australia," said Christopher Lowe, director of California State University at Long Beach's Shark Lab. "However, we discover new species of deep-water shark all the time, and many look very similar to each other."
Bermagui—whose real name is Jason Moyce, the Sacramento Bee reports—has turned to social media with strange finds before. In June, he posted a photo to Facebook of a fish with bulging green eyes, black saw-like teeth, and charred-looking flesh. "I'm pretty sure this is a blobfish?" Moyce wrote June 27 on Facebook. "Caught in deep water, east off Bermagui. Probably the ugliest fish I've ever seen. … Much more ugly in the flesh." Commenters did not support his suggestion that he might eat the fish. "Never put anything in (your) mouth that you can't identify," one commenter wrote.