Meet the ghost shark. Also known as a rabbitfish, spookfish, or more formally as a chimaera, these mysterious creatures are among the oldest living fish species still alive today. Their closest living relatives are sharks, but the two animals split off into different evolutionary branches over 400 million years ago. Chimaeras differ significantly from “modern” shark species in that their jaws are actually fused to their skulls. This means that instead of having razor-sharp teeth, chimaera have grinding tooth plates instead.
This video of what appears to be a blind, parasite-infested ghost shark was taken near an active volcano in the waters of Grenada last year. Its pale, luminescent eyes, combined with what appears to be a stitched-on grin, makes this encounter uniquely disturbing even for the scientists watching the footage.
“That’s terrifying,” said one of the commentators on the video.