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.
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.
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.”