Our planet’s oceans are crazy, and not just because saltwater takes up about 70% of Earth’s entire surface, but also because there are millions, if not billions, of yet undiscovered sea creatures lurking in the depths. If you think about it, we know more about our galaxy and the infinite Universe, than the underwater world in our own back yard. That in itself is mind blowing. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that our oceans are dope, and I needed a way to segue into the topic of sharks. Did you know that sharks have been around for over 450 million years, and that if I showed you their distant relative from 370 million years ago, you’d be able to tell it’s a shark? There are over 470 species of sharks splashing around in Earth’s oceans, and most of them look a lot like their prehistoric ancestors. Of course, not all of them are dangerous to humans, but there really are some weird specimens! Here are some of the most bizarre sharks I’ve ever seen (on paper).
1. Megamouth shark
If you couldn’t tell by the name, this shark has a really big mouth. Throw in those thick lips and you’ll get the most handsome sharkboy in the sea. But don’t be afraid of this big doofus, as it feeds mostly on plankton.
These giants grow around 13-16 ft (4-5 m) and weigh around 2,600 lb (1,200 kg). And that’s pretty much all we know about them, since they were only discovered 40 years ago, and we’ve seen less than 60 specimens.
2. Greenland shark
Again, if it’s a shark, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re all apex predators who will attack anything that moves, some species, like the Greenland shark, prefer to swim around at 1 mph (1.6 kmh) or slower, making it the slowest shark in the world. There’s still a mystery surrounding this shark: what does it eat? Marine biologists have found seals, eels, and other animals much faster than our slowpoke, so… what gives?
Sawsharks are some of the craziest looking mofos out there! They have a long snout with sharp teeth on the sides that they use like a saw in order to kill the prey. Prepare your shins and ankles if you see this little death machine. He may not kill you but he’ll definitely mess you up.
4. Cookie-cutter shark
Aww, someone called this monstrosity a “cookie-cutter”? That’s so cute! Despite being just 20 inches (50 cm) long this shark is one vicious predator. I know it’s hard to believe but it preys on whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, rays, dugongs etc. And if you know how the regular cookie-cutters work (they cut the dough in different shapes), you can imagine this angry dude latching on to its victim and basically cutting out round-ish chunks of flesh! Damn, nature, you’re scary!
5. Thresher Shark
Have you heard of thresh metal? Basically these sharks are HUGE fans on Metallica and Slayer! The thresher sharks have a massive tail, that can get up to 50% of its total length (up to 20 ft). The shark would zoom through schools of fish and use its tail as a whip, stunning the fishies. After that it’s dinner time!
6. Frilled shark
One of the most viral and recognizable sharks on the internet – the frilled shark. Is this guy some evil biologist’s sick joke, or was it born this way? Sadly, it’s all natural, and this horror will haunt me in my nightmares. Because of its primitive look, it has long been considered a “living fossil”, an extant species which closely resembles extinct species known only from fossils. Luckily for us humans, these sharks prefer pitch black, crushing depths.
7. Goblin shark
Last but not least we have this ugly fellow. The goblin shark would crack all the mirrors with its stunning looks, but since it’s a deep-sea bottom-dweller, it doesn’t really care about its hideous schnozz. Aside from that it has a xenomorph-like jaw with sharp teeth which is uses to catch prey. Needless to say, if you see one in the wild, don’t stick your hand in it, and you’ll be fine.