“Ghost shark” captured on video for the first time

(WSVN) — Scientists in California say they recorded what they believe is the first-ever video of a “ghost shark,” or the pointy-nosed blue ratfish.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, or MBARI, recorded the video with remote-operated underwater vehicles in 2009, but KSBW reports it spread quickly after they recently released the video to the public.

This deep-sea shark species is almost never seen, and has evolved with unique features suited for its dark habitat.

“These records are the only images of this rare species in its natural habitat,” the institute said.

MBARI recorded the shark at a depth of 5,400 feet, off the coast of central California. The team said they found six ghost sharks during their search off the coasts of California and Hawaii.

In order to definitively confirm the chimaera’s species, scientists much examine the shark’s DNA.

“The researchers note that they can’t positively identify the ghost sharks in the ROV video without actually collecting one of them and bringing it back to the surface,” MBARI’s Kim Fulton-Bennett said. “This is much easier said than done, because these fish are generally too large, fast, and agile to be caught by MBARI’s ROVs.”

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