A fisherman accidentally caught a rare “goblin shark” last month off the coast of Key West, Florida.
Scientists say the April 19 catch is only the second time on record that a shark like it has been captured in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Although it is thought to be a great exhibit, it has rarely been kept in captivity. One specimen survived in an aquarium for a week at Tokai University, Shimizu, Japan,” the NOAA further explains on their website.
The estimated 18-foot shark was caught by fisherman Carl Moore. He didn’t even realize what he had caught when he saw the fish and actually threw it back in the ocean after snapping some pictures.
“I didn’t even know what it was,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “I didn’t get the tape measure out because that thing’s got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage.”
The Chronicle added that it had been about a decade since the last time a “goblin shark” had last been spotted.
This post has been amended to reflect that the shark was estimated to be about 18 feet long, not 18 inches.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.