Have You Ever Seen a Mutant Cyclops Shark?

(Photo: Enrique Lucero León)

This creature almost doesn’t seem real with its single, giant eye, bulbous head and oddly pale coloration.

Believe it or not, it’s actually a very common species of bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, with a mutant twist. The mutation is called cyclopia and can occur in humans and other animals, although extremely rare in all species.

Comparing the cyclops mutant shark to a normal bull shark. (Photo: Enrique Lucero León)
A side angle comparison of the mutant version and normal version of the species. (Photo: Enrique Lucero León)

According to National Geographic, a dead female bull shark carrying nine fetuses was caught earlier this year by a fisherman off the coast of Mexico. The fetuses eyes’, although they were dead, remained in tact in the womb giving researchers the chance for a good look.

(Photo: Enrique Lucero León)

National Geographic quotes University of Northern Florida as saying that cyclops sharks have been found before as embryos:

The fact that none have been caught outside the womb suggests cyclops sharks don’t survive long in the wild.

Overall, finding such an unusual animal reinforces that scientists still have a lot to learn, Gelsleichter added.

“It’s a humbling experience to realize you ain’t seen it all yet.”

The mother shark was already dead and beginning to decompose when she was found, but she held nine, intact fetuses. (Photo: Marcela Berjarano Alvarez)
(Photo: Marcela Bejarano Alvarez)