Speed Reads

It came from the sea

Rare, ugly goblin shark caught in the Gulf of Mexico


If you don't already have a fear of the ocean, you're about to: A fisherman recently caught a rare — and extremely grotesque — goblin shark in the Gulf of Mexico. It's only the second goblin shark ever caught in the gulf, and the first since 2000.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," John Carlson, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research biologist, told CNN. "Some would call them 'ugly.' I think, 'interesting.'"

Not much is known about the goblin shark, except that it has razor sharp teeth and dwells in the deep sea. Sightings are uncommon, and most take place off the coast of Japan. Carl Moore of Townsend, Georgia, had certainly never seen one before, and was shocked on April 19 when he pulled one out of the water.

"First thing I told them boys was, 'Man, he's ugly! Looks prehistoric to me,'" Moore told CNN. He quickly took pictures of the creature — with a camera he'd brought mainly to document his trip for his toddler grandson — and then released it back into the water. He sent the shark photos to Carlson and NOAA as soon as he returned to land. It's an important find, Carlson said, and having new pictures will hopefully help answer some of the questions scientists have about the species. Moore was happy to add it to the list of odd things he's seen at sea, but never once planned on cooking it for dinner. "As ugly as it was," he said to NBC News, "I don't think I'd bite into it."