There are several known types of ghost shark. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 NOAA
An enigmatic species of shark found in the Pacific has been captured on film off the coast of California.
Also known as chimaeras, these distinct dead-eyed cartilaginous fish branched off from sharks over 400 million years ago and have been silently roaming the ocean depths ever since.
Now for the first time, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California have released footage showing a particularly elusive species of ghost shark in its natural habitat.
The video was captured using a remotely operated submersible vehicle.
"The guys doing the video were actually geologists," said Dave Ebert, program director for the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. "Normally, people probably wouldn't have been looking around in this area, so it's a little bit of dumb luck."
Known as the pointy-nosed blue chimaera, this extremely elusive variety of ghost shark was thought to live only in the Southern Hemisphere meaning that this is also the first specimen ever found north of the equator.
Footage of the creature captured by the ROV's cameras can be viewed below.