Sharks are some of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean. With their sleek bodies, razor-sharp teeth, and powerful jaws, they are the ultimate predators of the deep. While most of us are familiar with the more common species of sharks such as the great white or hammerhead, there are some truly weird sharks out there that are just as interesting. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the weirdest sharks in the world.
01. Goblin Shark
The goblin shark is a deep-sea shark that is rarely seen by humans. It is known for its long, protruding snout, which it uses to sense prey in the dark depths of the ocean. The goblin shark’s snout is covered in sensory organs that allow it to detect even the faintest electric signals given off by other animals. It then uses its sharp teeth to grab its prey and swallow it whole.
The goblin shark’s appearance is also quite ugly and unique. Its skin is a pinkish-white color and is covered in small, tooth-like scales called dermal denticles. Its jaws can extend forward to catch prey, and it has a retractable mouth that can suck in water to help it breathe.
02. Basking Shark
The basking shark is the second-largest fish in the world, behind only the whale shark. It can grow up to 33 feet long and weigh up to 5 tons. Despite its massive size, the basking shark is a filter feeder, meaning it feeds on tiny plankton and small fish.
One of the most interesting things about the basking shark is its unique feeding method. It opens its massive mouth and swims forward, filtering water through its gills to capture tiny plankton and small fish. The basking shark’s gill rakers, which are comb-like structures in its gills, filter out the food while allowing water to pass through.
03. Hammerhead Shark
The hammerhead shark is easily recognizable thanks to its distinctive, hammer-shaped head. But this shark’s odd appearance is more than just a quirky feature. The hammerhead’s wide-set eyes give it excellent peripheral vision, while its broad head allows it to scan a wider area for prey.
Hammerhead sharks are also social animals that travel in schools. This behavior is unusual for sharks, which are typically solitary hunters. However, hammerheads are known to work together to corral schools of fish and trap them against a reef or other barrier.
04. Frilled Shark
The frilled shark is a deep-sea shark that looks like something out of a horror movie. It has a long, eel-like body and a head that is lined with rows of needle-like teeth. The frilled shark’s name comes from the six pairs of gill slits on its neck, which are frilly in appearance.
Despite its terrifying appearance, the frilled shark is not a threat to humans. It lives in the depths of the ocean and is rarely seen by humans. Its diet consists mainly of squid and other small fish.
05. Wobbegong Shark
The wobbegong shark is a type of carpet shark that is found in the shallow waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It has a flat, broad head and a body that is covered in a pattern of spots and ridges that helps it blend in with its surroundings.
The wobbegong shark is an ambush predator that waits for its prey to come to it. It hides in the sand or among coral reefs and lunges at its prey when it gets close enough. The wobbegong shark’s jaws can extend forward to grab its prey, and it has sharp teeth that can inflict serious damage.
06. Thresher Shark
The thresher shark has an incredibly long tail that it uses to stun its prey. It will swim circles around a school of fish, using its tail to thrash them and create a shockwave that stuns or kills the fish. The thresher shark then uses its powerful jaws to eat the stunned fish.
The thresher shark is an excellent swimmer, able to swim at speeds of up to 22 miles per hour. Its long tail is also used to help it make sharp turns and maneuver in the water.
The sawshark is named for its long, saw-like snout, which is covered in sharp teeth. The sawshark uses this snout to dig into the sand and uncover prey such as crustaceans, fish, and squid.
The sawshark is a relatively small shark, growing to be only about 5 feet long. Despite its small size, the sawshark is a fierce predator that can take on much larger prey.
08. Prickly Dogfish
The prickly dogfish, also known as the spiny dogfish, is a small shark that lives in cold waters around the world. It gets its name from the sharp spines that cover its dorsal fins.
The prickly dogfish is an important food source for humans and is used in dishes such as fish and chips. However, the population of this shark is declining due to overfishing.
09. Megamouth Shark
The megamouth shark is one of the rarest sharks in the world. It was first discovered in 1976 when a fisherman accidentally caught one in his net. Since then, fewer than 100 megamouth sharks have been seen.
The megamouth shark is a filter feeder, using its massive mouth to capture plankton and small fish. It has a luminous organ inside its mouth that it uses to attract prey.
10. Angel Shark
The angel shark is a type of ray that looks similar to a shark. It has a flattened body and broad pectoral fins that it uses to glide along the ocean floor.
The angel shark is a slow-moving predator that waits for its prey to swim by before striking. It feeds on fish, squid, and crustaceans.
11. Cookiecutter Shark
The cookiecutter shark is a small, deep-sea shark that feeds by biting chunks of flesh out of its prey. It gets its name from the round, cookie-shaped wounds it leaves on its victims.
The cookiecutter shark has bioluminescent organs on its belly that it uses to attract prey. It is also known for its extremely strong jaw muscles, which allow it to take large bites out of much larger animals.
The helicoprion is an extinct shark that lived around 290 million years ago. It is known for its unusual spiral-shaped teeth, which were arranged in a whorl-like pattern in its lower jaw.
Scientists have long debated how the helicoprion used its teeth. Some believe it used them to slice through the shells of its prey, while others think it used them to catch and hold onto prey like a grappling hook.
Edestus, also known as the “scissor-tooth shark,” was an extinct shark that lived during the Carboniferous period. It had a unique set of teeth that were arranged like a pair of scissors, with the upper teeth overlapping the lower teeth.
Scientists believe that the Edestus used its teeth to slice through the soft tissues of its prey, such as fish and squid. However, due to its lack of fossilized jawbones, much about this shark remains a mystery.
Xenacanthus was an ancient shark that lived around 250 million years ago. It had a long, eel-like body and a distinctive spine that protruded from the top of its back.
Scientists believe that the spine was used for defense against predators and as a tool for mating. The Xenacanthus also had a unique jaw structure that allowed it to swallow large prey whole.
The stethacanthus was an extinct shark that lived around 350 million years ago. It had a unique dorsal fin that was shaped like a comb and covered in small, tooth-like structures.
Scientists believe that the stethacanthus used its comb-like dorsal fin to attract mates or to deter predators. It also had a flattened head and a powerful set of jaws that it used to feed on small fish and other prey.
While sharks may seem scary and intimidating, they are also some of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean. From the goblin shark’s bizarre appearance to the cookiecutter shark’s unique hunting method, there are plenty of weird and wonderful sharks out there just waiting to be discovered.