MONTEREY, CA (KSBW) — Scientists with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute said they recorded what is likely the first-ever video of a large, deep sea ghost shark, also known as the pointy-nosed blue chimaera.
The video was recorded by Moss Landing-based MBARI in 2009, and went viral when it was recently released for the first time.
The mysterious species of sharks are almost never seen, and they survive with strange features evolved for a dark, deep sea habitat.
“Like the chimaera from Greek mythology, which had a goat’s head, a serpent’s tail, and a lion’s head, chimaeras are pretty weird looking,” Kim Fulton-Bennett of MBARI says.
MBARI’s remotely operated vehicle recorded the blue-colored shark at a depth of 5,400 feet during a dive off the coast of Central California. It was one of six ghost sharks the team found in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Hawaii and Central California.
But before scientists can definitively confirm the shark’s species as a pointy-nosed blue chimaera, they must examine its DNA.
“The researchers note that they can’t positively identify the ghost sharks in the ROV video without actually collecting one of them and bringing it back to the surface. This is much easier said than done, because these fish are generally too large, fast, and agile to be caught by MBARI’s ROVs,” Fulton-Bennett said.