Ghoulish ‘ghost shark’ species with haunting eyes, massive head discovered off Thailand

A haunting new ‘ghost shark’ species with glowing eyes straight out of a horror movie has been discovered off the coast of Thailand.

Scientists with the Pacific Shark Research Center (PSRC) discovered the elusive Chimaera supapae 1,640 feet below the Andaman Sea, publishing the first images of the never-before-seen species in Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

The cartilaginous fish, a member of the oldest order of marine life still alive on Earth, features a distinct massive head, feathery fins and iridescent eyes, which appear to change colors when spotted from different angles.

Scientists discovered the Chimaera supapae, a new species of “ghost shark.” David A. Ebert

The creatures was spotted in the dark depths of the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology

The feathery fins are believed to help the creature “maneuver over rocky bottoms of high relief” along the ocean ridges and slopes where it was found, according to researchers.

The ghoulish looking fish measures nearly two-feet long and is a distant relative of sharks and rays, as evident by its long and pointy tail.

Researchers discovered the ghost shark, known as Chimaeras, lurking in the dark waters and sustaining itself on crustaceans, mollusks and worms.

David Ebert, the lead author of the study and program director for the PSRC at San Jose State University in California, noted that it was rare to come across ghost sharks in the Thai waters.

The ghost shark found measures at nearly two-feet long with glowing eyes, feathery fins and a long, pointy tail. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology

Scientists noted that it was rare to find a ghost shark in the Andaman Sea. AFP via Getty Images

“Their deep-sea nature makes them difficult to find, especially in the Andaman Sea, where depths in some areas exceed 14,500 feet,” he told Live Science.

“Evolutionarily, these chimaeras are among some of the oldest lineages of fishes with the lineage going back 300-400 million years,” he added. “The discovery of new species like this chimaera tells us how little we know about the marine environment and how much is still to be explored.”

Start your day with all you need to know

Morning Report delivers the latest news, videos, photos and more.

Thanks for signing up!

The researcher noted that before his team’s discovery, there were only 53 known species of ghost sharks in the world.

Little is known about Chimaeras due to their deep and dark habitats, but their discoveries tend to make headlines over their nightmarish appearances.

The new Chimaera supapae was named after the late Thai scientist Supap Monkolprasit, who devoted her life to studying these cartilaginous fish.

Leave a Comment