Japan is not just famous for its dolphins and whales. While the Japanese love to eat whale meat, a recent discovery came to the fore in the form of a rare shark that was dredged up from the depths. It was a large megamouth shark that was an inhabitant of the deep seas.
Caught off the coast of Shizuoka, the monster was given a postmortem which over 1500 individuals saw with eyes wide open. This type of shark is a rarity and in fact came to be seen in public only some 30 years ago.
The reason why it is termed the megamouth shark is due to its cranium which is way out of proportion from the rest of its body. The head alone could be more than 17 feet in length. This recent catch was hauled in from a subterranean depth of 2600 feet. While it was 13 feet long, the poundage was a colossal 1500 units. A heavyweight sample is what this strange creature from many leagues underneath the sea was!
According to Discovery, "The Megamouth shark is one of the most rare and most mysterious members of the shark family. Only 22 specimens have ever been reported since it was first captured and described in 1976 and many details of its life are as yet unknown. Megamouths are the third known species of planktonivorous shark, alongside the whale shark and basking shark."
These sharks feed via a filter in the mouth. They clear the ocean of plankton and jellyfish. Thus they form a very crucial link in the food chains that Nature has inspired. When you take a look at the whale shark and basking shark, this species is quite a contrast since it is smaller in size than these two.
According to JDP, "The Marine Science Museum in Shizuoka, Japan dissected the animal caught for further study with more than a thousand onlookers, curious to see the insides of the giant creature."
After the postmortem, this megamouth had its remains put up for public display at a the museum. There have been 100 sightings up until now of this curious creature off the coast of Japan. It is also to be found surviving in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
This shark only adds to the diversity of sea life and it was a wonder gazing at the operation of the megamouth for the 1500 Japanese onlookers at Shizuoka.
Watch below the video of a megamouth shark.