As if it wasn’t bad enough that these mysterious warriors supposedly ran around parts of Asia, secretly executing covert operations, now it seems someone has found evidence that some might be living in the ocean’s depths! Is this another cryptid? CryptoVille investigates!
They quietly ply the ocean’s depths off the coast of Central America, sleek, black, and stealthy. Their eyes are bulbous and at just under 2 feet long (1/2 m), they may not seem formidable at first. But then their skin begins to glow, helping them blend into the murky water around them.
This sounds like a pitch for the latest summer-by-the-seashore horror film, doesn’t it? But in fact, these creatures are real!! In an article for HakaiMagazine.com, reporter Jason Bittel introduces the newest shark discovered by science.
Meet Etmopterus benchleyi, a new species of lanternshark. These bad boys were named after the author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, a long time fan of sharks. The 8 year old cousins of researcher Vicky Vasquez coined the name Ninja Lanternshark and launched them onto the official shark family tree.
Glow in the Dark
The most interesting feature of these Ninjas is the fact that their skin glows in the dark. The scientists explained that these animals have photophores in their skin that produce a faint glow in the ocean’s depths.
Bittel writes, “[These sharks] use this cloaking ability to blend in with the limited light penetrating the ocean’s depths and appear invisible from below. This helps them sneak up on small fish and shrimp while also avoiding becoming lunch for larger predators.”
Vasquez, who is a graduate student at the Pacific Shark Research Center (PRSC) in California said, “We don’t know a lot about lanternsharks. They don’t get much recognition compared to a great white. So when it came to this shark I wanted to give it an interesting story.”
Expecting More Discoveries
Program director for the PRSC, Dave Ebert said, “The discovery of the ninja lanternshark is just another example of how many species are still out there waiting to be described. About 20 percent of all shark species have been discovered in just the last ten years. My whole research is looking for lost sharks.”
I wish him, luck, don’t you? We have been saying this all along. The oceans are so vast and deep there is no telling what horrors, sorry, creatures are lurking below the surface. It gives me chills, but it’s also kind of exciting, right?
Are you excited about this discovery?