A FISHERMAN was stunned when he reeled in a bizarre-looking sea creature thought to be a terrifying deep-sea shark.
Trapman Bermagui, from Sydney, posted a picture of the alien-looking shark on Facebook with people calling it the ‘stuff of nightmares’.
The sea monster was pulled lifeless from 2,133 feet underwater off the coast of Australia – with blunging eyes and small protruding teeth.
People were left deeply disturbed by the creature from the deep with one person commenting: “Stuff of nightmares there.”
While another joked: “Looks really happy he’s just had his braces off so is accentuating the gums and teeth.”
Others began speculating that the mystery catch was not a real shark at all and could be man-made.
One person said: “Man-made…either a sculptor or mixing of DNA with the assistance of the crisper…”
But the fisherman responded to people’s comments confirming it was indeed a shark that often lurks miles below the ocean’s surface.
He said: “Totally not a cookiecutter. It’s a rough skin shark, also known as a species of endeavor dog shark.
“These sharks are common in depths greater than 600 meters. We catch them in the wintertime usually.”
Dean Grubbs, associate director of research at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, also weighed in on reports of the bizarre catch.
He told US site Newsweek that it appeared to be a roughskin dogfish, a species that comes from the Somniosidae family of sharks.
He said: “In my deep-sea research, we have caught quite a few of them in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Bahamas.
“Ours have come from depths of 740 to 1160 meters (2,400 to 3,800 feet), so a bit deeper than this report.
“They are in the family Somniosidae, the Sleeper Sharks, the same family of the Greenland Shark, but obviously a much smaller species.”
However, Christopher Lowe, professor and director of the California State University Long Beach Shark Lab, thought it could be a different species of shark.
He said: “Looks to me like a deepwater kitefin shark, which are known in the waters off Australia,” he said, though he noted he could not see the whole body or size of the shark.
“It looks like Dalatias lata to me; However, we discover new species of deepwater shark all the time and many look very similar to each other.”
In August this year, The Sun reported that an ‘ancient’ 16ft greenland shark had been spotted in the Caribbean.
The half-blind beast was spotted off the coast of Belize by a team of researchers who were out on a boat tagging tiger sharks with local fishermen.
The team put out a longline in bid to catch the sharks but couldn’t believe their eyes when the Greenland shark appeared.
Initially, they thought the shark, which looked “really, really old, was dead but it sprung to life,” said Florida International University researcher Devanshi Kasana.
“It was just very surprising and confusing,” Kasana told NPR .
“As soon as it entered our field of vision, we saw a black figure that was getting bigger and bigger.
“When it came to the surface, none of the crew with all of their combined fishing experience had seen anything like that.”
Kasana took a picture of the creature and sent it to her supervisor who said it appeared to be a Greenland shark, one of the world’s longest living creatures.
It is believed to be the first time a Greenland shark has been spotted in the western Caribbean.