Ancient half-blind shark that can live for 500 years leaves fishermen stunned
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Fishermen in the Caribbean made one hell of a discovery when they accidentally caught an ancient shark far from where they were known to reside.
According to National Geographic, last year Devanshi Kasana, a research assistant at Florida International University, was with a crew of fishermen from Belize while they were searching for tiger sharks to tag.
However, Kasana and the fishermen caught 'something heavy on the line' off the coast of Belize and fought for two hours to drag the mighty creature to the surface.
When they finally managed it, they saw that the shark was definitely not the type they were looking for, and indeed none of them could even recognise what kind of shark it was.
So, let us introduce you to the Greenland shark, a type of deep-sea chomper that can grow as long as 23 feet (seven metres), weigh up to 1.5 tonnes (1360kg) and live for centuries.
They tend to prey on creatures that have sunk to the bottom of the sea and they like to lurk beneath the surface of the sea.
As their name might suggest, they're usually found in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans so, it's not surprising that the group were pretty shocked by their discovery.
While Kasana wasn't able to take a DNA sample for confirmation that it was a Greenland, she was able to take pictures which experts said indicated the shark was most likely one of those ancient sharks.
The only bone experts had to pick was what the shark was doing in the Caribbean, as that's not exactly where you'd expect to find one.
They are creatures which have adapted to cold water environments, not the warmer climates of the Caribbean.
And prior to their discovery, another one had washed up dead on a beach in Cornwall, England, with a post-mortem indicating that it was probably just over 100 years old and died of meningitis.
Some of these animals found in the wild are thought to be over 500 years old and scientists can often determine their age through carbon-dating the proteins formed in their eyes.
These proteins form in the womb and experts can test them to see how long ago they were formed and thus figure out the rough period of time where the shark was born.
Unfortunately for these ancient sharks, they are often left half-blind due to the ocean parasites which attach themselves to the shark's eyes and end up living in there.