Imagine this fearsome sight: an ink-black shark with gnarly, needle-like teeth; creepy, glass-like eyes; a glowing belly and a potentially extendable jaw. That’s what scientists saw when they pulled up this rare creature, along with four of its pals, from the deep sea — so, naturally, it gave them quite a jolt.
An image of a slender, midnight black shark with blue beady eyes and an extendable jaw caught off the coast of Taiwan in 2018 has resurfaced online, terrifying tens of thousands of users who compare the viper dogfish to the Marvel comic book character Venom: The shark opens its mouth wide, extends its jaw upward, and pushes it out.
Taiwan’s Fisheries Research Institute said it had picked up five of the creatures near Donghe Township during a routine survey.
Describing them, it said: ‘The most obvious feature are the needle-shaped teeth, like snake-like fangs; this is also the origin of viper shark name.’
The first viperfish was discovered in 1986, and only a few have been seen by humans, but researchers recovered five from the depths four years ago.
Because they are so seldom seen, little is known about viper sharks, but they’re believed to migrate from 300m-400m deep during the day to 150m deep at night.