Ghost Shark (credit: NOAA Okeanos)
Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) are excellent tools to capture natural events and make discoveries, particularly in environments hostile to humans. Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) observed a rare ghost shark and captured the movements of the fish on video from a deep-diving robot. The discovery was published in Marine Biodiversity Records by the marine investigators.
Ghost Sharks, also known as a chimaera from the ancient Greek myth of a beast with a goat’s head, a lion's head, and a serpent’s tail. These bony fish are ancient creatures that evolutionarily branched away from other sharks more than 400 million years ago. They occupy ocean floors nearly 9000 feet deep in complete marine darkness and are rarely seen alive, much less filmed.
According to the MBARI announcement
"a pointy-nosed blue chimaera, first identified in 2002, had only been known from deep waters around Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. The fish has recently been found around the Hawaiian Islands and off the coast of Central California, the first time one has been seen anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere."
The creature appears highly primative evolutionarily, covered in scaly, cartilage, body-plates and with its ghostly, ice-blue eyes. The ghostly fish are true 'living fossils' that still exist in isolated environments on Earth and once known only from fossilized rock specimens.