Scientists were left baffled after catching a rare shark that can extend its jaws beyond its mouth — just like the monster from the sci-fi hit “Alien.”
An image of a slender, midnight black shark with blue beady eyes and an extendable jaw caught off the coast of Taiwan in 2018 has resurfaced online, terrifying tens of thousands of users who compare the viper dogfish to the Marvel comic book character Venom.
Fascinating’s Twitter post shows the viper dogfish in three stages of releasing its jaw to attack with its needle-like teeth: The shark opens its mouth wide, extends its jaw upward, and pushes it out.
The first viperfish was discovered in 1986, and only a few have been seen by humans, but researchers recovered five from the depths four years ago.
The deep-sea creature has captivated users, with one stating that it validates their fear of the ocean.
An image of viper dogfish has captivated the internet. The images show the black shark moving to eject its jaw from its needle-like teeth-lined mouth.
Twitter users are going crazy over the shark, with one user likening it to Marvel’s Venom comic book character that also has an extendable jaw and fangs for teeth
The viper dogfish, so named because of its unusually large and fang-like teeth, can only be found off the coasts of Japan, Taiwan, and Hawaii.
It captures its prey with its rapidly extending jaws and can swallow relatively large fish whole.
Because it lives up to 1,800 feet below the surface, the creature has only been seen a few times.
And, despite its viscous appearance, the average viper dogfish is only about 21 inches long.
Viper Sharks live in the darkness and snap up other creatures
During a routine survey, Taiwan’s Fisheries Research Institute discovered five of the creatures near Donghe Township in 2018.
Describing them, it said: ‘The most obvious feature are the needle-shaped teeth, like snake-like fangs; this is also the origin of viper shark name.’
Four of the five sharks were dead when they were pulled from the water, and the fifth died in the laboratory.
The viper shark’s diet consists of crustaceans and bony fishes, including lanternfishes, which may be drawn to the predator’s glowing body.
Taiwan’s Fisheries Research Institute said in 2018 that it had picked up five of the creatures near Donghe Township during a routine survey. Pictured are two of the five. Four of the sharks died before being pulled from the water and the fifth died within 24 hours
Other Twitter users believe the viper dogfish looks like the creature in the film ‘Aliens’
The bottom-trawler Seiryo-Maru discovered the species in 1986 off the coast of Shikoku Island, Japan.
Trigonognathus kabeyai is named after the fishing vessel’s captain, Hiromichi Kabeya.
Although the creature was captured in 2018, the internet is still going wild for it.
One Twitter user shared: ‘Truth.. In all aspects of every aspect!! These deep sea creatures are getting more hideous with every new find.’
While another jokingly asks who allowed such a grotesque creature to exist?
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute shared a more recent sighting of another strange sea creature in December 2021.
The team captured footage of a barreleye fish with a translucent head that exposes its glowing eyes that lives 2,000 feet below the ocean off the coast of California.
The first viperfish was not discovered until 1986 and are usually caught in fishing nets that trail the seas
A more recent sighting of another bizarre sea creature was shared in December 2021 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). The team captured footage of a barreleye fish that lives some 2,000 feet below the ocean off the coast of California that has a translucent head that exposes its glowing eyes
Instead of two small indentations where its eyes would normally be, the elusive fish has two glowing green orbs behind its face that gaze up toward the top of its head.
Because it lives so deep where food is scarce, its eyes are in that position to allow the creature to scan the waters above it for food while also allowing it to rotate its eyes forward.
According to evolutionary biologists, the fish’s powerful sense of sight evolved as a result of its harsh environment, where no sunlight can reach.
Its eyes are tubular eyes, which are common in deep-sea creatures and consist of a multi-layer retina and a large lens that allows it to detect the maximum amount of light in one direction.