A fisherman grabbed something strange from the ocean just off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, earlier this week.
The photographs show a pink and white monster with alien-like eyes and a greatly bloated tummy, sparking internet discussion over what it may be.
Local scientists have determined that the ‘alien fish’ is a swell shark with unusual coloring. The ‘alien fish’ was discovered by Pisces Sportfishing Fleet on Tuesday after Jaime Rendon, Captain of Dr. Pescado, informed them of the unexpected capture. The little shark was released back into the wild after a brief catch.
Rendon’s customer caught the unusual swell shark about a mile off the coast in 370 feet of water. Though he assumed it was an alien at first, the creature ‘had scratchy skin, three rows of small fangs, and three-gill slits on each side of the head,’ suggesting that it was most likely a shark.
This is remarkable because most sharks have 5-7 gills on each side, but the captain noted the most striking feature was its unusually shaped, emerald eyes.
‘I was definitely astonished, but what struck me the most were the eyes, which were so odd,’ Rendon told the organization.
Because the captain suspected it was in danger, he released it back into the sea, where it swam off back down to where it had come from.’ Many people thought the pink shark was a swell shark because of its massive belly.
The capacity of these sharks to engorge themselves with water or air makes it difficult for predators to bite or swallow them.
However, many individuals had unanswered questions.
‘Even if it is a swell shark, why is it this color and why does it just have three-gill slits?’ commented Pisces Sportfishing Fleet on Wednesday. The scientists are currently reviewing and will get back to us as soon as they can.’
The organization contacted scientists, who eventually confirmed that the species is a swell shark, Cephaloscyllium ventriosum.
These sharks are typically a yellowish-brown color with black splotches, however, youngsters are paler.
The pink color of this specimen indicates that it is either albino or leucistic, meaning it lacks entire or partial pigmentation.
The alien-like eyes of the shark taken off Cabo, among other traits, hint at its identification, as swell sharks are known to have huge, oval-shaped eyes.
These sharks may be found in subtropical seas ranging from Central California to central Chile.