A research fishing expedition off the coast of Portugal snagged a nightmarish-looking creature that is being hailed as a ‘living fossil.’
The five-foot-long specimen was caught by a UN scientific vessel aimed at, ironically, finding a way to prevent unwanted catches by the commercial fishing industry.
Experts at the Institute for Sea and Atmosphere in Portugal subsequently examined the fish and determined that it is a rather elusive frilled shark, which is a species of the creature that has existed on Earth for around 80 million years!
Boasting a sinister maw that sports a whopping 300 teeth, some have speculated that the frilled shark could have inspired stories of sea monsters from sailors who encountered them in the distant past.
While this particular creature is merely be a youngster compared to those once-infamous denizens of the deep, we’re guessing that there are some pretty amazing stories passed down at frilled shark family reunions.