A fisherman hauling in his nets Wednesday near the Florida Keys came face-to-face with one of the rarest and ugliest sharks in the sea -- a goblin shark.
According to the NOAA Fisheries Service Facebook page:
Yesterday, a shrimp fisherman accidentally caught an 18 ft. goblin shark off the Florida Keys.
NOAA biologists are working with the fisherman to collect important information about the shark, a known deep water species. Shortly after capture, the shark was released and swam away. Biologists encourage people to call and report these rare sightings and catches as the information they can collect allows them to know more about a species.
The NOAA says it is only the second goblin shark of record in the Gulf of Mexico.
Some have been seen in the Atlantic off the coast of Guyana, Surinam, French Guyana, France, Madeira, Senegal, Portugal, Gulf of Guinea and South Africa, according to NOAA. Goblins were recently recorded in the U.S. off the coast of California and in the Gulf of Mexico near Mississippi.
The NOAA notes that few specimens have ever been caught, making it one of the rarest species of sharks, but we doubt too many people are complaining.
Learn more about goblin sharks HERE.