Ghost sharks, also called chimaeras, are rarely seen by humans. In fact, they’ve never been seen alive before, until now. According to National Geographic, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have taken the first-ever footage of a live ghost shark in action.
Ghost sharks live so deep in the ocean that we don’t know much about them, and typically when they’re discovered by researchers they’re dead. But they’ve been swimming around the bottom of the ocean since before the dinosaurs even arrived.
“Normally, people probably wouldn’t have been looking around in this area [for the ghost shark],” says Dave Ebert, program director for the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. And in fact, the researchers who discovered the ghost shark were actually geologists and weren’t looking for it at all. The footage came from an expedition conducted in 2009, when the institute sent a remotely operated vehicle to conduct dives off the coast of Hawaii and California.