As if ripped straight from a scene in a sci-fi thriller, an ‘alien fish’ is making headlines this week after being captured off the coast of Los Cabos, Mexico.
The terrifying, yet interesting-looking creature was originally posted by the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet Facebook page last Tuesday, and has since been shared over 500 times. The post explains that the bloated, pink-hued shark was caught (and released) by fisherman Jaime Rendon, adding they would share more details as they became available.
After contacting the fisherman and studying up on the types of marine life in the area, the group shared an update on its findings. “After researching the common opinion is that it is probably a swell shark – easy to see why- this fish fills its stomach with water to enlarge its size to prevent it being swallowed by predators or to deter them” the post explained. They also found out that the shark was found “a mile off shore in 370 feet of water,” meaning that it is not a deep-sea catch, as previously thought.
When photos of the bizarre water-dweller started making their way around the internet, they eventually reached the hands of shark researcher Chuck Bangley, who provided even more insight into the situation.
According to Motherboard, “When Bangley first saw photos of [the] shark being circulated on Twitter, he tentatively identified the mysterious specimen as a swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum), suggesting that it could be albino, or unusually light-colored.”
While ‘alien fish’ may be free to roam the open seas for now, it’s only a few more months until Shark Week makes this one-of-a-kind creature a star once again.