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What A Catch! Florida Fishermen Snags A Rare Goblin Shark

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Something really weird happened on April 19, 2014, off the coast of Key West, Florida. Captain Carl Moore caught a rare goblin shark in his fishing net, only the second one ever to be caught in the Gulf of Mexico.

The shark was photographed and released back into the water. Since Moore is a shrimp fisherman, he wasn’t at all interested in keeping this shark. And why would he be? He said: “As ugly as it was, I don’t think I’d bite into it.” He spends at least 300 days per year at sea and he caught sharks many times before. However, this is the first time he has ever seen something like this.

What do we know about this creature? This hideous animal is a rare sight in Earth’s waters. The goblin shark is a deep-sea animal, found only in the oceans. So far, it has been seen in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean. Unlike some “stronger” and livelier species of sharks, this one is described as inactive, sluggish and slow swimmer.

They’re pink-skinned, with a distinctive profile: flattened snout on top of their heads, highly protruding jaws and nail-like teeth. Their length usually reaches between 10 and 13 feet, sometimes more (in mature sharks). The captain said that “his” one was at least 18 feet long. Little is known about them, but one thing is for sure. Because of the depths at which it lives, the goblin shark represents no danger to humans and vice versa. The World Conservation Union agrees with this fact.

Catching a goblin shark in Florida’s waters particularly surprised biologists. John Karlson is a research biologist at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). In his interview for the NBC News, he said: “This is a very rare finding. We don’t know very much about these animals. From the photographs, we are assuming this is a female shark.”

In some other parts of the world, people are less surprised when they stumble upon this ugly creature. In Pacific waters around Japan, 30 young sharks are taken each year, but it’s still considered a somewhat “rare” occasion. At the same time, catching a goblin shark in Florida waters is more incredible than rare. However, it’s not the weirdest event of this kind in history. In 2003, off the Taiwan coast, over 100 of the goblin sharks were caught. The reason for this may be a major earthquake that happened a few days before the catch.

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