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Alien Species Spotted: Rare 'Ghost Shark' Chimaera Captured on Video For the First Time

Dec 20, 2016 04:11 AM EST
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The world is indeed full of alien species, and many of them are creeping beneath the deep blue ocean.
For the first time in history of mankind, the elusive ghost shark was captured on film.

Time reported that the film was taken by marine biologists from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California when they were conducting deep-water geology surveys with the aid of a remote-controlled submersible.

According to Fox News, the clip was taken on 2009 in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. It took them while to confirm its identity.

Science Alert reported that the deep-sea creature, which was sotted swimming at more than 6,700 ft. (2,000 m) deep, was identified as Hydrolagus cf. trolli -- known commonly as the pointy-nosed blue chimaera. "Cf." -- indicates that while its physical characteristics closely match the official species description for Hydrolagus trolli, there is no DNA evidence to prove it.

The scientists say that what they have captured could be an entirely new ghost shark species as it did not resemble any known ghost shark species.

However, this cannot be confirmed unless the scientists can perform DNA analysis on its tissue. Bringing the chimaera on the surface to take samples would be hard as it is a very agile swimmer.

The discovery also marks the first time that the creature has been seen anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere as it was previously thought that they only thrive in the waters around Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. This only proves that the creature can really get around.

As per National Geographic, ghost shark is also known as chimaera. They are relatives of sharks and rays, and they have been swimming in the deep ocean since 300 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs existed. They were first named in 2002.

"Chimaeras are unusual fishes. Like sharks, their bodies are not stiffened by bones, but by plates and bone-like bits of cartilage. Like the chimaera from Greek mythology, which had a goat's head, a serpent's tail, and a lion's head, chimaeras are pretty weird looking," said MBARI public information specialist Kim Fulton-Bennett in a statement.

All findings were published in a recent paper in Marine Biodiversity Records.

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