Researchers have been puzzling over this spooky specimen ever since it was caught in the cold, deep waters off the northern Canadian province of Nunavut:
Photo: Associated Press
Originally thought to be a goblin shark (a totally terrifying creature with Alien-like jaws, which we covered in this article), it was finally determined to be a long-nosed chimaera, or “ghost shark” (not to be confused with the Syfy movie monster of the same name), an extremely rare and ancient species which sports a spiny, venomous tail and can live in depths of up to 6,000 feet.
According to the UK Daily Mail, the fish was identified by Nigel Hussey, a researcher for the University of Windsor. He says that only one other specimen of chimaera has been documented in the region.
Despite its nickname, the ghost shark is not actually a shark at all; the two species (along with rays) share a common ancestor dating back to the time of the dinosaurs, and it really hasn't changed much since then.