Weird Nature

13 Rare And Endangered Sharks That Are Actually Pretty Amazing  

Crystal Brackett
24.5k views 13 items

A wide variety of creatures dwell in the depths of the world's oceans, with sharks being one of the most mysterious. Although there are certainly plenty of fish in the sea, vulnerable shark species are still falling victim to a number of threats, resulting in rapidly thinning populations - with people playing a major part in the destruction. With rare and endangered sharks becoming more scarce, the majority of us would be lucky to catch a glimpse of them in the wild at all - that is, if you consider running into an apex predator in its natural habitat a stroke of luck

Even if you do happen to stumble upon one, you might not even be able to tell that it's a shark at first, as not every shark out there resembles the stereotypical great white. The crazy looking sharks that reside in the open and coastal waters of the world are all majestic and strange in their own right, with biological oddities proving that nature is just as weird as it is beautiful.

Megamouth shark is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 13 Rare And Endangered Sharks That Are Actually Pretty Amazing
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

The mighty megamouth shark is actually a member of the filter-feeding-shark trio, the other two being the whale shark and the basking shark - and all of them having special plankton-luring luminous mouth organs that give them their advantage. And despite being the  smallest of the bunch, the megamouth shark can grow up to 18 feet in length, with nearly 1/4 of its massive body being occupied by its mouth alone.

Since its discovery in 1976, there have only been 62 reported sightings of this rare sea-dweller, which is due to the fact that it primarily resides in the deep waters of the tropics.

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Ghost Shark
Ghost Shark is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Rare And Endangered Sharks That Are Actually Pretty Amazing
Photo:  98065109/Imgur

Chimaeras, also known as ghost sharks, are a species stuck somewhere between being a shark and a ray, the result being the shark that we see today. Deviating from their shark predecessors around 400 million years ago, the ghost shark is now its own, singular entity residing in the waters off of Australia and New Zealand, and was discovered purely by dumb luck. 

Adding to its status as an underwater-oddity, it also has a retractable penis on its head.

Goblin Shark
Goblin Shark is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Rare And Endangered Sharks That Are Actually Pretty Amazing
Photo:  Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria/Wikimedia Commons

A deep-water dweller by nature, the goblin shark is a rarely seen oddity. Its lineage is ancient and dates back 125 million years, earning the relative of this ancient bloodline its nickname as the "living fossil." It has a uniquely defined snout that resembles a rather nasty goblin, but its odd-looking, protruding forehead is actually rather remarkable as it contains a special sensing organ full of jelly-filled pores called "ampullae of Lorenzini," allowing the shark to pick up the electric and magnetic fields produced by other organisms.

Swell Shark
Swell Shark is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 13 Rare And Endangered Sharks That Are Actually Pretty Amazing
Photo: Aquaimages/Wikimedia Commons

The swell shark doesn't grow to great lengths, reaching a maximum of only 43 inches, but it's got beastly genetics. The only place it calls home is on the algae-covered floors of the subtropical Pacific Americas where it hunts shellfish and other smaller, easily-snagged fish. What's most interesting about this shark is that, when it's scared, it will bend its entire body into the shape of a "U" and suck up water into its stomach, allowing it to float rapidly upward, making for a quick escape to the surface.

The swell shark is also biofluorescent, glowing a brilliant green under blue or ultraviolet lights.