Footage from 2009 of the pointy-nosed blue chimaera, a species of so-called “ghost shark” was unearthed over the weekend, courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, or MBARI.


The footage was captured off the coast of California, marking the first time the fish has been seen in the northern hemisphere. They have previously been recorded off the coasts of South American and southern Africa.

The pointy-nosed blue chimaera dwells very deep in the ocean, and is rarely seen. It’s skin is grey and almost Frankenstein-like with patchwork patterns. The have small dots all around their faces, thought to be part of their sensory system for finding food. They have large vacant eyes, and males have retractable sex organs on their foreheads.

“Similar looking, but as yet unidentified, ghost sharks have also been seen off the coasts of South America and Southern Africa, as well as in the Indian Ocean,” said MBARI public information specialist Kim Fulton-Bennett. “If these animals turn out to be the same species as the ghost sharks recently identified off California, it will be further evidence that, like many deep-sea animals, the pointy-nosed blue chimaera can really get around.”

See the bizarre creature for yourself in the video below.

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