The video of what is believed to be the first sighting of the rare ghost shark went viral Sunday after scientists discovered the creature swimming in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii in 2009.
It took researchers seven years to come to the conclusion that what was captured on film was in fact a pointy-nosed blue blue ratish Hydrolagus trolli otherwise known as a ghost shark.
Scientists won't be able to positively confirm what species the shark is without bringing one to surface.
The footage was released by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in late October.
Scientists noted that the shark is native to the Southern Hemisphere, notably Australia, New Zealand, Africa and South America.
“Similar looking, but as yet unidentified, ghost sharks have also been seen off the coasts of South America and southern Africa, as well as in the Indian Ocean,” Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute spokeswoman Kim Fulton-Bennett said in a statement.
Researchers discovered the creature by mistake. Dave Ebert, the program director of Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories told National Geographic on Sunday that geologists were actually doing the research.
“Normally, people probably wouldn’t have been looking around in this area, so it’s a little bit of dumb luck,” he said.
The group sent an underwater remote vehicle 6,700 feet down into the Pacific Ocean and accidentally bumped into what is believed to be a ghost shark.
The ghost shark, also known as a chimaera, has dead eyes, winged-fins and a retractable sex organ located on its head.