Did You See This?

A Rare Glimpse of the “Ghost Shark”

The mysterious creature glides past deep-sea cameras for the first time.

This may be the only video ever of a live “ghost shark” in the wild. It looks like what you’d expect if Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas went swimming.

The ghost shark, aka the pointy-nosed blue chimaera, has milky eyes perfectly suited to the dark, midnight-zone depths where it lives. It’s actually a mysterious ancient relative of sharks that evolved into a separate species some 300 million years ago.

The footage was captured in 2009 but only recently released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. A remotely operated vehicle came across the creature six times while surveying the depths off California and Hawaii. It took a while for researchers to be reasonably sure of what they were seeing, because no ghost shark had ever been seen in the Northern Hemisphere. And they’ll still have to capture one and perform DNA tests to be absolutely sure it is, in fact, a ghost shark, and not something new and spectral.

Advertisement