Late last month, fishermen off of the coast of Cabo, Mexico pulled a mysterious creature out of the water just a mile away from the shore in 370-foot deep water.
White with pink coloration, the sea animal had gills and looked like nothing they had ever seen before.
“I asked our guide what it was, and he said he had never seen anything like it in 25 years of doing this,” fisherman Scott McLaughlin said. “We kept it out of the water for about 10 minutes before releasing it. The guide was concerned it might be endangered.”
Tons of speculation had gone around as the creature went viral across the internet, and experts had a really hard time categorizing the creature, which received the nickname ‘Alien Fish’ for the time that it was uncategorized as a known species.
Now, researchers are coming out of the woodworks with information pointing to the possibility that the unidentified creature may have been a swell shark.
Swell sharks typically have brown, black, and other dark colors in their skin pigment, however it’s believed that this creature is a rare albino or leucistic specimen, which means it lacks pigmentation in its skin and is what gives it its eerie white and pink color.
The researcher who has stepped up with the classification, David Elbert of the Pacific Shark Research Center of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, said that swell sharks are relatively common to the area.
On the other hand, it’s the first case he has seen an albino or leucistic swell shark like this one despite seeing albino or leucistic sharks of other species, “there are about 520 species of sharks, and I’ve seen albino or leucistic ones in some of those, but this was the first time seeing an albino or leucistic form of a swell shark.”
The animal was quickly released back into the water in fear that it may have been some kind of endangered species, so it’s now back in the wild where it belongs. Unfortunately, albino or leucistic animals like this don’t typically live long lives because they’re easy to spot for predators.
Source: Facebook via Daily Mail