When shrimp captain Carl Moore caught it, he didn’t know what it was – and looking like a creature from the movie “Alien”, he refused to go near it. Luckily, he snapped a few photos before tossing the ugly Goblin shark back into the water so it could resume its primary objective of confusing scientists and terrorizing fishermen throughout the world.
Moore was about halfway through his 18-hour workday when he made the bizarre catch. He had just begun carrying a camera on his fishing expeditions, wanting to share what he does with his 4-year-old grandson Keaton. What he didn’t want to do however, was give his grandson nightmares so he instead took the pictures of the Goblin shark back to shore and handed them over to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He explained that he netted the ugly beast on April 19, 2014, about 10 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. NOAA immediately recognized the fish as a rare Goblin shark.
Goblins are identified by their flat, elongated snouts that point off from the tops of their heads. Their mouths open up to reveal more than one hundred razor-sharp, nail-like teeth. Goblin sharks have been found in the Pacific, off the coasts of Japan and California, and in the ocean at depths up to 5,000 feet. This is the first one caught in the Gulf of Mexico and the only Goblin shark caught in the last 15 years. Goblins feed on squid and fish and most measure about 10 to 13 feet in length. The one Captain Moore caught measured around 18-20 feet long.
The World Conservation Union lists Goblin sharks as only a small concern to human safety but that’s because they are very, very rare (and usually only come out on Halloween).