Rare frilled shark caught off Australian coast

South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association

TORONTO – Fishermen caught a rare and “horrific looking” shark off the coast of Australia last month, and the deep sea creature just might give you nightmares.

The 300-tooth frilled shark, also known as the “living fossil” was captured by fishermen off the coast of Victoria.

Skipper David Guillot and his crew were deep sea fishing when he snagged the shark at a depth of more than 1000 metres.

“The head on it was like something out of a horror movie,” Guillot told Melbourne’s 3AW talk radio. “It was quite horrific looking.”

In this handout picture released by Awashima Marine Park, a 1.6 meter long frilled shark swims in a tank after being found by a fisherman at a bay in Numazu, on January 21, 2007 in Numazu, Japan. Awashima Marine Park/Getty Images

According to Australia’s South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA), the frilled shark gets its name from its six frill-like gills. The species’ ancestry dates back 80 million years.

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“I’ve been at sea for 30 years and I’ve never seen a shark look like that,” Guillot said.

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According to SETFIA, frilled sharks are rarely seen and generally are caught at a depth of about 1200 metres.


Last November, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) were able to record the mug of the elusive deep-sea angler fish known as the Black Seadevil or Melanocetus.

Angler fish have rarely been filmed in their natural habitat. According to MBARI, fewer than half a dozen have ever been captured on film or video.

-with a file from Global News reporter Nicole Mortillaro

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