If a 1,500 pound shark species that had only ever been seen 57 times before got dragged into port in your hometown, you might come out to get a peek too. That’s what 1,500 people in the city of Shizuoka did when a 13-foot megamouth shark was brought in by fishermen after being accidentally snagged in one of their nets.
It’s been 38 years since the first megamouth was caught and we barely know anything about them. We do know they are a deep water species, as evidenced by this specimen that was caught at a depth of 2,600 feet. We also know that–similar to the massive basking shark and whale shark–they are filter feeders, feeding mainly on plankton and jellyfish. Japan has been especially lucky in terms of megamouth shark sightings, boasting 13 of the 58.
The video below from Discovery is one of the few pieces of footage we have of the megamouth shark.
Seeing as the oddity was already dead upon arrival, marine biologist jumped at the opportunity to slice the thing open and get some information on this fish. As you can see in the video, it was all hands on deck for the dismantling of the shark and even members of the crowd were eager to touch the oddly flabby tissue samples. If you’re swinging through Shizuoka this week, you can go see the beast itself which is on display at the city’s Marine Science Museum.
Really hope they made sure it was fully dead before this little maneuver…
All things considered, weird sharks seem to be very much in season. On April 19th, shrimp fisherman Carl Moore pulled an equally odd goblin shark out of the deep. This species is also pretty hard to find and Moore’s specimen represented only the second to ever be caught in the Gulf of Mexico.