Researchers couldn’t believe their eyes when they recently reeled in a different species of fish while tagging tiger sharks off the southern coast of Bᴇʟɪᴢᴇ. It turned out to be a Greenland shark, which may live for more than 500 years and is generally located in the Arctic.
This shark had pale blue eyes and black, worn-looking skin, unlike the tiger sharks. The shark appeared “very, really ancient,” according to Devanshi Kasana, a Ph.D. candidate at Predator Ecology and Conservation lab of Florida International University.
It was just incredibly unexpected and perplexing, she added. They immediately noticed a black figure that was expanding as it came into their line of sight. With their total fishing experience, none of the crew had ever seen anything like it until it got to the surface.
The discovery, according to Kasana, is particularly interesting since it shows that these sharks, which were previously believed to only be present in the Arctic, can also be found in the tropics.
The shark appeared to be very elderly when they finally hauled it in, she said. A tag was briefly contemplated, but they decided against it since they didn’t want to ᴀᴄᴄɪᴅᴇɴᴛally harm or ᴋɪʟʟ the shark for scientific purposes. Instead, Kasana and her crew measured the shark, recorded their findings, and snapped a picture before releasing it.