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Shark Week in the Gulf

You got your goblin sharks.

Goblin shark

Shrimpers fishing in the Gulf of Mexico have pulled up an incredibly rare, almost prehistoric looking goblin shark. It’s only the second sighting of such a beast in the Gulf.

The freakish shark is one of the least-known of the shark family, usually living in deep waters off the coast of Japan. The goblin is so rare that the first Gulf sighting of one over 10 years ago resulted in a scientific paper being written.

The new shark, estimated to have been 18 feet long, was accidentally hauled up by shrimpers off the coast of Key West, Florida.

The crew had a net down in 2,000 feet of water and were shocked when they pulled up the usual barrel-load of shrimp. Mixed into their catch was the bright pink giant, which preceeded to thrash around on deck.

“I didn’t even know what it was,” said lifetime fisherman Carl Moore. “I didn’t get the tape measure out because that thing’s got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage.”

Instead, Moore quickly hoisted the creature back into the water. It was only luck that any photos were taken as Moore had only just bought a cell phone with a camera.

“My 3-year-old grandson, he just loves sharks so I’ve been taking pictures of every one we find, when I showed him this one he said, ‘Wow, Pappa!’” Moore said.

I can’t stop looking at the photos in that news story. That is a creature from your nightmares, no doubt about it.

Speaking of nightmares, you’ve also got your great whites.

Gonna need a bigger boat

Divers taking a dip in the Gulf have captured amazing video of a Great White shark that paid them a visit as they explored a wreck about 80 miles off the coast of Florida.

The video shows the group at depths of around 100 feet, looking down through a school of fish. A dark shadow can been seen swimming by with diver Dane Kelly’s brother madly trying to point it out to his dive buddies.

“My brother’s going crazy because he realizes what it is before we do,” Dane Kelly explained to NBC2 News in Sanibel, Florida.

At times, the giant fish is hard to make out but the shape of a shark is as distinctive as it is ominous. Scientists say there is no doubt it was a Great White.

“Fortunately, most other sharks in the Gulf do not resemble white sharks at all,” said Nick Whitney, staff scientist and manager at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota via email.

“About the only species that looks similar is the shortfin mako shark, which does not get as long or as girthy as the white shark. And the shark in the video is long and girthy,” Whitney said.

Whitney estimates the shark in the video is about 12-14 feet long, saying that the body proportions and tail beat give away the fish’s massive size.

I don’t have anything to add here. I just think sharks are cool.

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