Rare Catch and Release Casts Light on Giant, Elusive Goblin Shark
May 5, 2014 2:56 PM
comment(s) - last by
GiantNO shark was at least 15 feet long, has "few natural predators"
Down down to Goblin-town / You go, my lad! / Ho, ho! my lad!
"Down in Goblin Town",
, J.R.R. Tolkien
In the murky dark waters of the Gulf of Mexico, tentacles enfold around fish, dragging them into the waiting beak of predatory squid. But these terrors of the deep themselves swim in fear of a far larger and greater predator, the goblin shark (
Growing up to 18 feet in length -- nearly the size of a great white shark (
; avg. adult length 23 ft.) -- and hunting waters 1,000 to 3,000 feet deep, this oddly shaped, elusive predator is among the world's largest and most fearsome sea predators.
Much like another giant of the deep -- the Greenland Shark (
) -- modern science knows precious little about
this terrifying creature
, which is believed to be the last in a line of prehistoric sharks that dominated the seas some 125 million years ago.
Now for the first time in nearly a decade and a half, a fisherman has caught a goblin shark and photographed it, providing valuable evidence of this mysterious monster.
The man who made this catch of a lifetime was Carl Moore, 63, of Townsend, Georgia. He was out catching shrimp when he noticed something odd stuck in the nets. It appears the goblin (shark) was venturing into shallow waters to feast on the same abundance of small sea scavengers that Mr. Moore himself was looking to net.
The rare goblin shark is seen here, still alive, glaring at its captor, prior to its release.
[Image Source: NOAA]
The fisherman recalls in
[I've] caught so much weird stuff: sawfish, Bahamian anglefish, loggerback turtles weighing 1,000 to 1,500 pounds. First thing I told them boys was, 'Man, he's ugly! Looks prehistoric to me.'
I was going to take the tape measure, then he flashed around again. I said, 'Forget the measurement. That thing'll eat me up!'
Fortunately, Mr. Moore had the means of capturing photographic proof of his amazing catch. In order to show off his fishing adventures to his grandson Keaton, who just turned 4 years old, Mr. Moore has begun carrying a camera with him on his journeys.
Despite being in "disbelief" at the fearsome sight of the shark -- which features a large exposed gum region, with sharp protruding teeth and a long horn-like snout -- he managed to snap pictures. But he didn't leave the rare creature to die; he tossed the still-struggling shark back in. He states:
Anything that's alive we try to put back in the ocean.
Professor John Carlson of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
's (NOAA) research biology division states:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some would call them 'ugly.' I think, 'interesting.'
We don't know a lot about deep water fauna. We know little about (goblin sharks) -- how long they live, how fast they grow.
Mr. Carlson and Mr. Moore are a bit at odds about the size.
The average adult goblin shark is around (10 ft.). But this was a relatively large one, believed to be a full 15 feet or more long. [Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]
Mr. Moore believes it was between 18 and 20 feet long -- making it the largest goblin shark ever caught. Mr. Moore believes that such things are often overestimated in the heat of the moment, but that based on the pictures it was likely roughly 15 feet.
One thing they both agree on, though -- the shark appears to have few known natural predators, particularly as an adult. Goblin sharks are found worldwide, but are rarely caught. This is the first confirmed catch since 2000. Only two have ever been caught in the Gulf of Mexico.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: These are what nightmares are made of
5/5/2014 6:42:47 PM
Or worse...Jenny McCarthy!
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
Researchers Cook Up Better Prosthetics, Fish Robots
October 19, 2010, 10:48 AM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Most Popular Articles
America's Largest Cable Company, Comcast, Sees Internet Subscriptions Pass TV
May 4, 2015, 2:46 PM
The Pirate Bay Loses Its Iconic Swedish Dot SE Domains
May 20, 2015, 6:31 PM
Google Finally Fixes Maps Bug That Was Giving Racist, Profane Results
May 21, 2015, 1:43 PM
Can id Software's Doom Find Its Way Out of a 7+ Year Development Hell?
May 19, 2015, 7:38 PM
Chromebooks Expected to See Sales Grow 26 Percent to 7.3 Million Units This Year
May 22, 2015, 1:26 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information