The animal kingdom is filled with countless beautiful creatures. The goblin shark isn’t exactly one of them. So, imagine a group of fishermen’s shock when they reeled in a massive goblin shark off the coast of Taiwan on June 13 and discovered that the 1,763-pound animal was pregnant with six pups.
Goblin sharks (Mitsukurina owstoni) spend their time in the dark depths of the sea. Because of their unique looks and prehistoric roots, they’re often referred to as living fossils. Rather than sell their huge catch to a restaurant as planned, the fishermen ended up donating the specimen to the Taiwan Ocean Artistic Museum in Taipei.
Goblin sharks are the only living members of the Mitsukurinidae family of sharks which originated 125 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. “This species has translucent skin, a pink body, and evil fangs,” the museum wrote in a translated Facebook post. “It belongs to an ancient shark family and is a very rare living fossil.”
Another post showed the six pups the mom was carrying. Each one measured around four feet long and weighed roughly eight pounds. “Each baby shark has a nutrient capsule in its belly,” the museum said, noting the juveniles’ advanced state of gestation. “The baby sharks’ teeth are already formed. So basically this mother shark should not be too far from her due date,” they said.
The mom shark and her six babies escaped being eaten by a hungry restaurantgoer, although still met an untimely end. Its body will live permanently at the museum. The institution called the fish a “marine education textbook” that will be exhibited there in the future.
Jaws was already scary, but a movie starring a goblin shark has the potential to stay in your nightmares forever.