An Australian fisherman has reeled in a deep-sea shark so menacing it makes Jaws look like a Labrador puppy.
Dredged up from 650 metres below the ocean’s surface, Bermagui identified the fish as a ‘species of endeavour dog shark’, captioning his spooky snap: “The face of a deep sea rough skin shark.”
Many of Bermagui’s followers thought he’d reeled in a cookie cutter shark, but setting the record straight, he replied: "Totally not a cookiecutter. It's a rough skin shark, also known as a species of endeavour dog shark.
"These sharks are common in depths greater than 600 meters. We catch them in the wintertime usually." [sic]
People were quick to point out how creepy the shark’s appearance was, with one person writing: “That’s f*****g trippy.”
Another added: “Woah what a freak,” while a third said: “WTF.”
Other comments included: “What the f**k is that?”, “A face only a mother could love” and “That’s the craziest looking fish.”
Speaking to Newsweek, Dean Grubbs, associate director of research at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, weighed in, confirming the species is likely a roughskin dogfish (Centroscymnus owstoni).
“In my deep-sea research, we have caught quite a few of them in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Bahamas,” he said.
“Ours have come from depths of 740 to 1160 metres, so a bit deeper than this report.
“They are in the family Somniosidae, the Sleeper Sharks, the same family of the Greenland Shark, but obviously a much smaller species.”
Days later, Bermagui posted a snap of another deep sea critter, this time caught by a different fisherman.
He wrote: “Another crazy looking deep water shark. This one was caught by a fellow fisherman off JB.”
Once again, people were convinced the shark in question was a cookie cutter, and Bermagui has yet to say otherwise in the comment section.
“Cookie cutter, I have caught some big bull dolphin fish and some have holes in them where you can see inside their abdomen and other scars that are healing.. It is truly amazing how tough these fish are,” wrote one person beneath the image.
However, another noted: “That looks quite close to Kitefin shark (Dalatias licha). They are in the same family with Cookiecutter shark. If no dorsal spines, that is most likely to be Kitefin based on size, coloration, and teeth shape.”